"First, you have to pay the minder $100 a day for his services. This fee is illegal and goes straight to the minder’s pockets, but if I didn’t pay it, the fixer would likely have gotten in trouble later. I grudgingly handed over the money.
The second unusual characteristic was something I had never seen before: you can pay the minder not to mind you. The fee is mandatory, but after paying it you can send the minder away and go about your business. (Yeah, really!)
I asked the fixer if we really needed the minder. He suggested we leave him behind, so that’s what we did—I paid him to watch over me on behalf of the government, then he got in a taxi and went home. Surreal."
We drove by the Ministry of Electricity, which the fixer said was a joke. “We haven’t had electricity for years,” he told me, “so now we call it the Memorial of Electricity.”
"I consoled myself with the fact that at least I got to see a Yemeni drug deal, even if the substance is legal there."