Labneh and the Mafia: a short story

The Bekaa Valley

So I’m waiting for my haloum sandwich at Jarjoura Dairy in Chtoura, Bekaa–never tried it before and place looks dated so I’m skeptical. Suddenly a beefy dude barges in and asks for three kilos of labneh, speaking quickly but politely. He paces the place agitatedly and I’m thinking who the hell is this guy and why is he in such a rush to get his yogurt?

I decided to grab an ayran drink and took it outside while still waiting and then spotted four equally beefy dudes sitting in a black-tinted SUV across the street. The driver wore EarPods and a particularly menacing look. The one with the labneh bag glides pass me and joins them. I stole a glance and they all zeroed in on me, ready to pounce if I took one more look. At this point I notice a black tinted S class Mercedes parked in front of the SUV. A man gets out it, labneh carrier gets in. The two cars peel off like nobody’s business.

Now I’m not sure if it was the red party or the green or the yellow (although I doubt Hezbollah makes labne runs—plus the dudes were too overweight) or if it was just some local drug lord, but one thing is for sure: I am really looking forward to this sandwich! If it’s good enough for the mob, it’s good enough for me!

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