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March 28, 2002

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To avoid central Yemen's desert we fly back to Sana'a. For the second time, airport authorities detain us. They're nervous about Americans. By nightfall we reach our hotel on the edge of old town. We change into our Yemeni clothes. Jill covers herself in veil and dress; I wear turban, dress frock, and dagger. We walk through old town under a full moon. White gypsum windows of stained glass and alabaster throw light on winding cobblestone streets and stone tower houses. Women walk in veiled anonymity. Men carry their daggers in broad, embroidered belts.
Goodbye to beautiful mud cities in Wadi Hadramawt.
Arabia Felix (Happy Arabia) is a historic hotel with beautiful rooms, a cheap price, and a prime location at the edge of old town.
I try but somehow I don't fit in.
Walking through Sana'a at night is a magical experience