First, an addition to Part I of my first travels outside Sana’a.
* Somewhere between departing Jiblah and driving up the mountain to Husn Hubb we picked up an armed escort. This seemed completely useless to me, this part of the country was not known for kidnappings. That, and we were driving a car that was otherwise indistinguishable from the rest of the cars on the road. No one would have known that there foreigners inside if it weren’t for the oversize truck with six soldiers and a .50 cal mounted in the back.
We drove the road connecting Ibb and Taiz in the dark, armed truck in tow, having a good laugh together as we drove through the town of Al Qaeda and passed a Falujah gas station. We wondered aloud whether our escort would stay with us once we made it to downtown Taiz, noting how ridiculous it would look to have this oversized weaponsized pickup follow us through packed city streets. They stayed with us and we got to the front door of out hotel. *