Buying a sandwich in Baghdad

The New York Times run Baghdad Bureau is shaping up to be quite an interesting group blog. Today, Balen Y. Younis who is an Iraqi employee of The New York Times, writes about working for the newspaper, the reaction of friends when he told them he was going to work for the western media outlet and how even buying a sandwich has changed for him,

Three days ago, I decided to take a walk along Karrada Inner Street, which is considered relatively secure compared with other areas in Baghdad. I found it quite interesting; people were walking, chatting, buying, laughing, and acting normally, as if there were no risks to people’s lives.
Gradually, I started to get used to the situation and pay attention to things around me, to behave normally and forget about my fear. This encouraged me to stand by a fast-food stall on the road and ask for a sandwich. I said to myself: “What if a suicide bomber blows up just right behind or next to me? My body’s biggest chunk will be just like the meat inside the sandwich.” But I decided to push these thoughts from my head and sit comfortably to eat and enjoy my time. link