Went to a meeting of Assyrian groups with the U.S. State Dept (did I know what this was? Nope). From this I got an invite to go and interview the same lady in Washington DC. Score.
But what she was saying was this: no, the U.S. Govt is not going to help the Assyrians get a safe area in Iraq. I felt quite depressed afterwards because a big part of the film is about trying to get this and a lot of the people I have been speaking to since I have been here talked about their efforts to try and get this.
Drove into town to get my tripod fixed and this took twice as long as the GPS said it would because of peak traffic (starts at 3 in afternoon), finally I arrive only to be told the guys who could fix it have left for the day. Buy some camera filters because I want to take photos of the Assyrian relief carvings at the Oriental Institute, so the voyage is not wasted. Begin the trek back and the traffic is depressing, arrive half an hour late bringing the hire car back. Feeling, well, why bother with anything?
The "bigness", too, of everything American is starting to seem ominous. Everything is a brand, a chain, a package and shouts louder than the reality of what it contains. Nothing is individual or specific, except individuals themselves.
Stop into Starbucks and start chatting to a man who is interested in the doco, him doing photography himself.
Catch the bus, a relief from driving, then stray into a huge dept store, Macy's, for some retail therapy. The lady who is serving me is Assyrian and she invites me to come back and have coffee sometime when she is working. Walk out with 3 pairs of shoes (30% off when you buy 3!) for winter in Iraq, cos I know they will have crap shoes but still feel a bit guilty. Get home and like the shoes, retail therapy works sometimes I guess.