Walking around Sanaa with a Yemeni Man


hmmm I guess I knew the secret long ago, but walking around with Yemeni men has completely confirmed it for me.

I went to a honey shop ( Yemeni honey is supposed to be the best in the world,) with one of the teachers at my center, and to a money change place with another today and it was awesome.

For the first time, I feel like I actually got some respect. The hooting and the hollering didn’t stop ( not from the kids anyway…. “Somaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaliiiiaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa– so wrong.. but they’re kids, what can you do? 😦

But I encountered a new stare: the “oh, she is with him so I better lower my gaze and mind my damn business look.” I have waited six weeks for people, men and women to glance me over and then turn their attention to matters that concern them. For the first time I went outside and felt like I wasn’t the coming attraction.

All the while I was thinking, ” I need to get me one of these for every time I go outside…lol.” I don’t know if they thought we were husband and wife, I don’t know if they thought he was some sort of tourist guide. All I know is what I saw and heard and felt which for the most part was silence: Golden.

I could do Yemen for much longer if I could feel like that every day…. but alas, it did not last.
As soon as I went out with a group of foreigners, the old feeling came back again.


2 thoughts on “Walking around Sanaa with a Yemeni Man

  1. Daphne

    Did the Yemeni children use the word “Somali” to taunt you because they mistook you for a Somali or do they just use that word for anyone who looks different from Yemenis? I ask this because your features are different from an East African.

  2. Gazelle du Sahara

    Yemen has generally been closed off from the world. Some people in my program have had arguments with people about them being Japanese (when they were white). So their sense of what any group of people look like is a bit skewed (generally speaking).

    But at any rate, I think they call me somali because my skin is black and hair is “curly.”… lol.

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