"Come!" He beckoned to me from across the market; his smile impish and his eyes playful.
His swept his hand in front of the mystery fruit at his stall in a "ta-da" motion, the gesture so emphatic that it moved the air.
I shook my head: I didn't want or need anything. Still, I curiously approached the stall, to his great pleasure. "What are they?" I asked, but his reply, in Arabic, brought me no closer to finding out. "Come!" he repeated, as he grabbed one of the fruits and offered it to me. He smiled from ear to ear as I took it from him and popped it into my mouth without inspecting it.
It was meaty and sweet in a way I wasn't expecting and didn't particularly like.
Still, I made a big show of closing my eyes in ecstasy. He was so kind, I didn't want to hurt his feelings. "Mmmmm!" I cried enthusiastically. He beamed. "So good!" I continued. "May I take a picture?" He nodded exaggeratedly, posed, and gave me a smize worthy of America's Next Top Model. I laughed and so did he. "Where you from?" he asked haltingly, rolling and stretching out the 'r' in 'from'. When I told him, he clapped his hands in glee. "Oh, Canada! Very good!" He laughed yet again, from deep in his diaphragm, his shoulders moving up and down from the effort.
He extended his hand, I shook it. "Welcome!" he exclaimed, his eyes bright.
I said thank you, but truthfully he needn't have said a word. For I felt his welcome as soon as he waved me over to his stall: it was in the warmth of his gaze, the mirth in his body, and his unnecessary generosity. (Souk Al Mubarkiya, Kuwait City, Kuwait)