Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Return to Normalcy?

Rick e-mails to hep us to a story about the comeback of beer in Baghdad:

BAGHDAD--Every evening at dusk, men gather on the Jadriyah Bridge spanning the Tigris River and turn it into an impromptu bar.

It's a sign of the improving times, the revival of an old habit that dates to the rule of Saddam Hussein, before the militias and extremists blew up the liquor stores and shuttered the bars as part of their effort to impose new forms of Islamic law on this once resolutely secular society.

Young men prop up the railings holding cans of beer and chat and smoke as if they were in a real bar. Old men pull up carts selling lablabi, a chick pea snack served in bars, back when there were bars. Sometimes there is dancing to the rhythmic sounds of Arabic music played on someone's car stereo, as the last of the evening's commuters whiz past and the sun sets over the green river swirling below.

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