Right across the street from the San Francisco supermarket where I confirmed the non-identity of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades leader stands a liquor store. Until recently, it's owner was a Palestinian, and the clerks who worked there were either from southern Lebanon or the West Bank.
The last time I had talked to the Lebanese clerk was in July 2006, at the beginning of the war. He had told me that he was very concerned about his family, who still lived in the south, and had just had their electricity and water cut off during the first days of the fighting.
Two weeks ago, I found him standing in front of the store. He recognized me, and we shook hands. "Did your family make it through?" I asked. "Yes," he replied. "Barely. Your people bombed the hell out of their village," he added, as a young couple walked by us speaking to each other in Hebrew.
I told him about the turn I took last summer in Ghajar, and asked if he could help me identify the puzzling green flag of the militiamen I'd run into there." Oh, they were Amal," he said, referring to the Lebanese Shi'ite guerrilla organization that preceded Hezbollah.