Calendar   Home
Previous Day

March 19, 2002

Next Day
We bought Yemeni outfits because we want to fit in as much as possible. The US embassy warned that terrorists here target foreigners and local people kidnap tourists to get concessions from the government. The population is well-armed. Everyone carries a jambiya, an ornamental curved dagger, and many people carry a machine gun. Yemen has the best armed population for a country at peace - over 60 million guns for a population of 18 million. A man without a gun is not worthy of respect. How much does a machine gun cost? Chinese gun - $80, Russian Kalashnikov - $200. You can try one out for the cost of the bullets.
Jill shops for a Yemeni style dress. Local men gather in droves to see a Western woman dress up in Yemeni fashion.
In keeping with local style, Jill covers herself completely in black. I wear turban, frock (it's not a dress!), and Yemeni dagger.
Craftsman works on my belt and jambiya.
Today we visited a few villages like Amran and Kohlan. Amran is a mixture of clay and stone architecture, a small scale Sana'a. Kohlan, pictured here, is a mountain village guarded by a castle that tops the mountain. The ground floor of one house leads to the roof of its neighbor.