Once every couple of months, I get an email or text from a new friend or acquaintance who is walking by Zain's Liquor and Deli Store. It’s usually accompanied by a picture of their ridiculous sidewalk sign — a bottle of champagne with naked baby angels flying around it and my name on the label.
I visited this store-of-my-name only once, when I worked around the corner. As the middle eastern guy was ringing up my purchase, I asked him if I could have a discount on account of my name.
First he didn’t believe me until I showed him my driver’s license. Once I proved it, he became really warm — even going so far as to handing me a free bottle opener with my name on it. Then, as I was grabbing my bag to leave, he asked, “Are you from Palestine?”
I responded, “No, I’m actually from India.” His face dropped. He took back the bottle opener and walked away without another word. Never did go back there again to figure out why they prefer Palestinian Zains.