It's been a hectic couple of days in Iraq recently, but all for the good. Since I've arrived, a number of major events have broken in the past six days including the assination of #1 terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, President Bush's surprise visit to Baghdad today and the launch of a major operation tomorrow that will put Baghdad under martial law to tackle the insurgency. I work best under stress so I've actually been having a ball, despite a lack of sleep.
Somebody was asking me what the hell we do for fun in Baghdad since most of the time, we're locked down on our compounds. First, let me dispel a major myth: with the exception of a handful of embedded media, there are no journalists living in the so-called "Green Zone". I don't want to give too many details here for fear that Mr. Zarqawi's buddies might be reading this, but let's just say that we all live in the community, in highly-secure compounds located in the "Red Zone."
That means we don't have the amenities that soldiers and workers enjoy in the Green Zone like movie theaters, gyms, game rooms and Burger Kings (yes, they have a BK in Baghdad). So for the most part, our entertainment is each other.
Every night after deadline, most of the reporters in my compound hang out together for dinner and drinks around the pool or at somebody's room. One particular media organization has THE party house in Baghdad. If MTV were ever to film "The Real World: Baghdad," it would be set in this particular house. Gawd I wish I was staying there!
Instead, I'm all by my lonesome in a big hotel suite, overlooking the city, wondering what story will break tomorrow.