I'm still in Basrah and waiting for the results of my application. We're trying to push things to end up in the same dental centre, and it seems our wasta didn't have much luck in getting us a place in Basrah city itself. Anyway we'll get the final word on Saturday. In the meanwhile we're touring the city. Today we went to the kornish of Shatt Al-Arab and checked out Basrah port. It looked pretty deserted and the ships looked like they were left from the days of Sindbad. I'll get some pics tomorrow if I can upload them. It's stupid but Internet connections here are annoyingly very slow.
We also tried fishing around for some booze but we couldn't find any (Fayrouz, can you help us out over here?). It's also a bit scary to ask around since we heard news of fatwas and attacks against liquor stores by fanatic Shi'ites. Very depressing, I guess we'll just have to do our shopping from Baghdad next time.
Electricity outages have reached Basrah, it goes out for 12 hours a day (alternating by 3 hours). Petrol station lines are still much better than Baghdad. It takes about an hour to wait in the queue and fill up your tank according to one taxi driver who was complaining.
By the way, this time we took the bus on the Baghdad-Kut-Nassiriya-Basrah route which took longer (about 10 hours) and there was this Kurdish guy sitting behind me who kept coughing and sneezing in my ear and after we stopped for lunch at Al-Hay his breath started to smell of onions. It was a very enjoyable trip I can tell you. We also passed through the Rumayla oil fileds when it got dark and they looked like candle lights far away in the desert.
Well thats about it for now. In the meantime wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.