Cam and I are sharing a hotel room. The fact that two blokes, sharing a hotel room with limited ventilation in a very hot country, have a room that currently smells like an orangutans armpit should not be surprising to anyone, but we are doing our best to keep it ventilated as much as possible. However, these efforts only seem to make the situation worse as when we open up the window all we do is let more hot air in. The air conditioning seems to work quite well, although it is a little noisy and opening up the window to reveal the condensor unit right outside the window doesn’t bode well for a good nights sleep. Oh well, these things happen. You only notice the aroma for the first minute – after that you get used to it quite quickly.

Over the past few days I have learned to enjoy the delights of a cold shower in the morning, although in our first room this was something that was not a matter of choice. Our current room has very hot water, but it is still nice to wind down the hot and pile on the cold. Makes for a very refreshing start to the day.

As for the title of this brief missive, I am not going to vent about my challenges with our airline and our experience changing our itinerary, or how our airline kindly allowed us to bring 30Kg of baggage into Iraq, but only let us take 23 Kg into Germany. No. This is not going to be about that at all. I am determined that this will be a positive experience – despite our airlines strenuous efforts to the contrary.

All in all, our experience here in Iraq has been very positive. Any challenges Cam and I have faced have come from influences outside of Iraq. So, I will not be venting here in this blog. If you would like me to buy me a beer at Short Cuts or West Side Shorts one night and I will vent to your hearts content. In fact, I could probably do with it. In the end, we got it done and we are now going to Germany to see the orchestra play at BeethovenFest. We may just have to sell whats left of our worldly goods to pay for the excess baggage charges which we will now have to deal with, but hey – it happens.

Our only technical challenge so far has been a video microphone having a too-close encounter with an Iraqi gluteous maximus during a bus trip. It still seems to work ok, but I have sourced a replacement at short notice which gives us a fallback position should it not last the trip. I am recording most of the interviews on my boom microphone and the video microphone is a fall-back if I am not around and Cam is interviewing on his own.