A couple of months after the war ended the US army started blowing up UXO’s (unexploded ordinance – it took me forever to figure out what those three letters meant). They issued a warning saying that explosions on the top or half hour were controlled explosions. Just so that we wouldn’t freak out.
Almost half a year later I still look at my watch every time I hear an explosion. I noticed my cousin does the same thing. You wish and hope that this is one of those “controlled explosions” even when I am not really sure the US army is still blowing up ordinance at those times.
I was woken up by an explosion today, opened my eyes and looked at my watch, it was 20 past eight. Went back to sleep wondering if this is going to be big enough to make the news, there are too many of them to mention the whole lot. And around 11pm there was another explosion, very close. You look at your watch, and think oh dear.

Two days ago I spent the night at my apartment instead of staying over at my parent’s. I don’t go there too often anymore; it is too close to the “green zone”. Too much gunfire at night. By now almost every Iraqi can tell the difference between a Kalashnikov (what the so-called resistance is likely to carry) and the sound of the machine guns US troops have.

The constant reminders that it is not over yet.

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