I have just put foot once again in Yemen, after four very relaxing days in Oman. I have been up and handling camels again…gee, I just love camels…they´re so sweet, cuddly, funny, difficult, independent and gracious….I cruised the dune ridges with a friend in the Wahiba Sands….silent, spacious, fresh air and open wilderness…everything that Sanaa doesn´t offer…..
I will keep it relatively short today, I did of course pick up a cold going in and out of air conditioned rooms and hotels in Oman and I started with the Arabic classes again today. So I am, as always, more or less knackered. But I just have to do some kind of a comparison, even if it is not a good idea to do. They´re two extremely different countries with different possibilities, Oman and Yemen. One has plenty of gas and oil for awhile and only around 3 million inhabitants in a country bigger than Yemen, where at least 25 million people fight for some fresh air in a country with very little natural resources as such.
The reason I went to Oman was two, first of all, just to keep myself updated with the Expedition planning, which hasn´t, of course, moved anywhere due to holidays and now the upcoming Ramadan…but good to see all of my great Omani friends,Talib, Dana, the boys and so on…secondly, just had to have a break from Sanaa. It is extremely demanding in every way. Water shortages, electricity shortages, noise, pollution, dirt, poverty, chaotic traffic and it takes such an enormous amount of energy to come across all these amazing personalities from the New and Old World! Sanaa is never, ever, boring!
But, the break was good. Less people, very orderly, no pollution hardly, great coffee (I have dreamed about espresso for 5 weeks now!), a feeling of luxury and just a rest for the brain. HOWEVER, I felt very happy getting of the plane in Sanaa again, yesterday, and 30 minutes later and much poorer due to the exorbitant visa price (65 dollars again!)hitting the souks with a almost dead taxi and once again ending up in this amazing array of life! Sanaas souks are probably the most amazing place regarding seeing interesting people on earth! I just love the sense of being alive more than ever!