Thursday, July 30, 2009

clearly a foreigner

I still haven’t gotten used to waking up to military helicopters, though I have accepted that they're for my safety. The Iraqi helis fly overhead throughout the light of day, and the American jets fly above, invisible to the naked eye, only under the safety of the night. Whenever helicopters startle me, those around me tend to laugh and talk on and on about the worst of the war. Stories of doing laundry when vibrations of a bomb shattered on a pregnant cousin. Stories of families hunched in corners of masonry houses incase a bomb caused the structure to collapse.

Though the situation is more calm than it was, Baghdad is peppered with constant reminders of reality. An average morning, while walking through Kadhimiyya, Haidoori jumped between and over barbed wire to grab a plate of food that was being handed out. I had a minor heart attack. “HAIDOOOORI! ARE YOU OK?!” The Iraqi soldiers that surrounded us laughed, and I turned red. Clearly a foreigner…unable to recognize Baghdad’s nuances from Baghdad’s real problems.

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