Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Perspective: In Baghdad, Survival Depends on Simpler Ways

BAGHDAD -- By now they're used to Humvees clogging the highways and blast walls blocking the alleys. Some barely flinch when trucks detonate or mortar shells crash down on the pavement. But when the bridges start falling into the water, determined Baghdad commuters are forced to improvise.

Which is why a 50-year-old shoe salesman is stepping gingerly onto a weathered wooden boat bobbing in the Tigris River, perhaps the only place in Baghdad where one need not worry about an explosion underfoot. "There are no bombs in the water," he said.

To those accustomed to the barren, brown expanse of the Tigris, in recent years primarily the domain of floating corpses and speeding patrol boats, the dozens of skiffs now traversing the river are a striking sight.

Read the rest at the Washington Post