June 29, 2008

Making me laugh.

In spite of some modern buildings and cars, visiting Yemen is like stepping into the past. During an evening walk at twilight the only lights shone from behind colored glass windows high in the three story buildings of Sana'a. The houses are tall giving a contemporary look from afar but as you get closer a beauty all their own becomes apparent. The elaborate friezes, the carved frames and stained glass windows transport you to another world.

I wandered through San'a with some new friends. Dutch women, who else? Wherever you go in the world, there is sure to be a group of Dutch women right ahead of you.

We crossed the bridge into the fortified inner city and bought the necessities for the coming weeks. It was hard enough to find what we needed in Sana'a, the capital, so we could only imagine what the other cities would be like. We bought biscuits, and La Vache qui Rit cheese that would keep and other odds and ends that had been forgotten and might be needed.

The bazaar offered many things that we didn't need, but bought anyway. I ended up with an alarm clock that instead of ringing sounded, "Allah Akbar", right on the dot. It was made of hideous pink plastic in the form of a mosque that closely resembled a birthday cake. Pop Art in its purest form.

People all over the world are friendly. It is fear or xenophobia that prevents us from seeing this. The young man in this picture was trying to make me smile - and he succeeded.

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