Snap! Snap! The sound caught their attention as they scanned the shelves looking for the right bottle of Arak to buy.

“It’ a bug zapper” she said.

“It’s loud!” he said.

They asked for help. The shopkeeper explained the different bottles to them. “This one is very famous. It is a one for the Jordanian. It is a good price and it is a uh… it is good enough”.

“What about this one?” Pointing at a blue bottle. It was more expensive.

“This one is better.” The shopkeeper then picked up a third bottle. This one was more expensive still. On the front of the bottle in the middle of the logo was a clear window. Through the window you could see a bird of prey that was printed on the inside of the label on the back of the bottle. The shopkeeper pointed to the first bottle. “Two times distillated”. He held up his pinky and ring fingers. Then he pointed at the blue bottle, “Three times distillated”, now the middle finger joined the others, then finally he pointed at the bottle with the clear window, holding up all fingers except the thumb. “Four times distillated”.

Snap! Another bug had gone to meet its maker.

“Do you think this is the best Arak from Jordan?” she asked.

The shopkeeper smiled broadly, and as he did so the flourescent light of the shop reflected brightly from the crucifix that hung from his neck in the ample space provided by his partially unbuttoned shirt.

“This is the best Arak in the middle east”