The Kurdish opposition was marching through one of the main streets and chanting anti-Iranian regime slogans. He followed me from the protest down a back street and called out. I stopped and he showed me a map and asked if I knew how to get to the destination he had circled. Weird he didn’t have Google Maps like almost everyone else in the city, I thought. It was only a matter of time before the city elders would carve out a separate pedestrian lane for tourists whose eyes were fixed on their phones.
I explained to him I didn’t know how to get to where he wanted to go. I wasn’t from here. “Where are you from?” he asked. “America,” I said, wished him luck and was on my way. He called out again and caught up alongside me. “Where are you from?” he asked again. “Argentina?” I walked off without answering him, eyeing my way back to the main road.
The next time a voice rang out behind me it belonged to an undercover cop who had the tourist by his shoulder. “Excuse me,” he asked. “What did this guy want from you?” “Just directions,” I said.