Acting Normal in Baghdad

Old Blog Import

Well, it seems that there is someone blogging away in Baghdad. Here is a sample:

A BBC reporter walking thru the Mutanabi Friday book market (again) ends his report with :
It looks like Iraqis are putting on an air of normality”

Look, what are you supposed to do then? Run around in the streets wailing? War is at the door eeeeeeeeeeeee! Besides, this &#8220;normality&#8221; doesn&#8217;t go very deep. Almost everything is more expensive than it was a couple of months ago, people are digging wells in their gardens, on the radio yesterday after playing a million songs from the time of the war with Iran (these are like cartoon theme songs for people my age, we know them all by heart) they read out instructions on how to make a trench and prepare for war, that is after president saddam advised Iraqis to make these trenches in their gardens. <br /> But in order not to disappoint the BBC; me, Raed and G. put on our &#8220;normal&#8221; faces and went to buy CDs from Arassat Street in a demonstration of normality.

&#8230;Other normal stuff we did this week: <br /> &#8211; Finished taping all the windows in the house, actually a very relaxing exercise if you forget why you are doing it in the first place. <br /> &#8211; installed a manual pump on the well we have dug because up till now we had an electrical pump on it. <br /> &#8211; bought 60 liters of gasoline to run the small electricity generator we have, bought two nifty kerosene cookers and stocked loads of kerosene and dug holes in the garden to bury the stuff so that the house doesn&#8217;t turn into a bomb. <br /> &#8211; prepared one room for emergency nasty attacks and bought &#8220;particle masks&#8221; &#8211; that&#8217;s what it says on the box &#8211; for use if they light those oil trenches, the masks just might stop our lungs from becoming tar pits. They are very hot items since the word on the trenches spread, you can buy one for 250 Dinars and they are selling faster than the hot cakes of bab-al-agha. <br /> &#8211; got two rooms in our house ready to welcome our first IDPs &#8211; internally displaced persons &#8211; my youngest aunt who is a single mom with three kids because she lives farthest away from the rest of us and another aunt from Karbala in the south. Hotel Pax is officially open for the season, no need to make reservations but you might need to bring a mattress if you come too late.  </blockquote> 

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