Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Iraqi Refu-g

I thought I could escape the Iraq war by coming to Syria, ok, not really, but I didn't think it would have such an impact on my wallet. I've been unsuccessfully looking for aparments this last week and can't believe the prices! The 2 million extra Iraqis have driven up the prices for everything from rent to potatoes. Last night I waited 1 hour for a taxi, which these days is a luxury, I would even have welcomed a microbus with an empty seat, but it's no use, everything is so crowded there are 50 people on the same corner as me all trying to get a ride. The apartments I've seen - which aren't necessarily in the nicest areas, are way beyond my price range, and are small, dingy, and dirty. The cheapest I have been able to find so far is $700 for a one bedroom on the roof of a 6 story apartment building with no elevator, and that's in Arnoos! Don't get me started with Sha'alaan, Mezze or Abu Romana. It looks like I might be staying in the old city after all, but even there the cheapest I've been able to find for a seperate apartment is $400. Most of the two bedroom apartments downtown are just as expensive as an apartment in DC! Power in all of Syria is also shut off for 2 to 3 hours a day due to the demand. It is pretty miserable in 115 degree weather with no fan or a/c. I feel especially bad for the ice cream sellers that have to try to sell tubs of melted goo.

No comments: