I actually voted yesterday (Friday) but I spent most of the day trying to figure out how I am meant to pack stuff for anything upto 2 years into just 20 kilos
Ok anyway so I went with my family to vote on Friday, well there actually was a queue and even tighter security. When we went in a lot of TV stations were there, now the interesting ones were the arabic ones, cos' they rarely had a correspondent just a cameraman going about (I wonder why). Anyway even jazeera was there, hehe everyone there was like let them come my way and I'll give them my two words.
Ok back to the ink (the one you put ure index finger through), so apparently its not for fingerprinting just a way to note who has voted and who hasn't (so ppl don't have to go twice) but does it have to look this repulsive,I keep thinking I haven't washed properly or something. Though seriously how do Iraqis in Iraq get away with it, I mean this is a sure sign that they have voted, can they all wear gloves to cover it or plaster they should have thought of something more reasonable for them cos' I'm pretty sure there's a fatwa out there to kill "those of blue-on-black fingers". Seriously those guys in Baghdad and other trouble spots are brave to do that.
As for election campainging the Kurdish channels were really at it, the ads on how to vote and the candidates were constantly on, patriotic songs in the break and then they showed the first day of elections across europe, which had become some overblown kurdish party... my brother kept commenting on how they probably shaya/halparke(dance) their way through the security gate.
Anyway I had to travel friday night (yes with hideous finger intact I seriously wish I bought gloves) and I had to stop in london for a while, my uncle decided to go to the elections in Wembley with this other family who were voting. So a -semijetlagged not very awake- me tags along.
And what a kurdfest, I was so gutted about forgetting my camera(Which was in my luggage) and my mobile cam couldn't work since I didn't have a simcard in it. But there were so many photo opportunities like the guy who laminated the front on his car with the Kurdish flag and was going about the center and these other cars that were pimping to Kurdish music and waving the flags all over the place. And the bus area that changed into some dancefloor. Damn camera where r u when I need you,well at least londonkurd's taken some
There were also 2 vans going about voting sistanis list and leaflet distributors,and this one car for allawis list, the motto was funny "in3aned zarqawi kulna ni7ib allawi" (go against zarqawei we all love allawi)
though you know what else was weird no police, you'd think with all this talk of a civil war and everyone hating each others guts you'd need to tear away Iraqis off each other. But yeah even the majority being kurds didn't make the others "violent".
But the queue was long, I had to keep hideous finger in pocket cos' just in case they wouldn't allow registered voters back in (for space reasons). And I was thinking screw this I'm freezing outside I just wanna go somewhere warm, but it was ok cos I was in a group and it was only in the actual polling where they do check thoroughly. I wasn;t voting so that was ok.
Apparently other places weren't so smooth, in Australia for example rumors started that the Australian government would send them back to Iraq if they voted. And another that it could put their relatives lives in Iraq in danger. Someone from the Australian government even had to interfere saying that none of that was true. Baathist havens like syria and jordan are also having an effect threatening about ppl. And now for the weirdest story yet, in Holland a bunch of kurds hired a bus to take them to voting center, they all dressed in Kurdish clothes waving Kurdish flags and even packed enough dolma to feed an army. Anyway out of all ppl that could get annoyed by this, it was some islamist morrocans who came and fought with them. Honestly huh? How did that happen. And whats weird is that its morroco, in the middle east they're kinda considered too liberal, but the morrocans in europe are a totally different story.
Though most of the talk in both polling stations were about how everyone seems to be against us voting, oh and zarqawi "Aw sagbaba urdunia 7aqee chia" (what does that jordanian son of the dog have to do with it)
I don't get why ppl was to take their anti-americanism out on us, i mean look at all the negative press... please ppl leave us alone do your little anti-americanism somewhere else, oh i forgot no one takes you seriously otherwise.