Tuesday, June 26, 2007

My Arak Beras was Mostly Appearance

I chose appearance over content when I bought my souvenir in Bali, Indonesia. I had no idea what Arak Beras could possibly be, the label only said "distilled from rice and sugar cane." But the bottle's design was so enigmatic and attractive that I could not leave the bottle on the shelf; I had to take it home.

As soon as I opened the container the strong smell of alcohol automatically pushed me about a meter away from the bottle; it was so intense that it made my eyes itchy. The first sip was even worse, and I sustained it while it descended down my throat as a lighted match.

Like many of the souvenirs we buy during our trips, the bottle of "Arak Beras" rested on one of my house's shelves for over a year before I ventured to reopen it.

After such a long time, the artisans' wine had settled and its smell was suave, sweet and liquorish. However, its taste was still strong; perfect to heat yourself up during a cold winter day, but not much else.

After opening it trying it, reopening and retrying it, I still choose the appearance of this souvenir over its content. From now on it will simply sit on my shelf next to other useless acquisitions.

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