I learned to drink tea long ago in the lovely Japanese tea gardens in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. While tearooms are not few and far between and exist in every town, sitting at a wooden bench among the trees and lush greenery was pure heaven. It happened to be a sunny afternoon with the shadows growing long in the late afternoon. We had been strolling on a walking trail and came upon this gem by surprise, hidden within the foliage. This is the day – eureka – that I learned to love tea. This passion has stayed with me throughout my life. There is no question of rebelling at the smell of fresh-brewed coffee. Not ever. I will not be a traitor to the exotic green leaf. I read about all the mysterious mountain villages where special teas are grown in China. A really rare one can cost a fortune. I want to go on a mission to try the best in the orient. I am willing to trek near and far to achieve my goal.
Meanwhile, I am writing this blog to extol the virtues of drinking tea and to get people to share their favorites. I know that this will not include my new neighbor. He is an absolute horror. He has a wooden floor and stomps around on it day and night. When I want to relish a steaming hot cup of tea with honey and a biscuit, English style, he is trying to annoy me. I assume this since he loves to vacuum round the clock. No one needs that much cleaning; no one has that much dirt on the floor. The machine rattles and roars. Isn’t it working properly? I wonder if he’d chosen a Bissell or Hoover? These models should be powerful enough to do the job – once a week. Apparently not. I am going nuts and soon I will go to the basement of the apartment building and find the circuit breaker to his unit.
He won’t be happy but I will find relief. I found out the hard way that there are consequences to rash actions, and not just from an upset Facebook post. He came down the stairs and knocked on the door. “Is your power out,” he asked, nicely at first. And then the big question, “Did you do it? Why is your electricity on?” Okay, I was caught in the act, as the French say “en flagrant délit.”
“Well,” I huffed and puffed. “You are the one who has ruined my teatime.” He turned pale. “I love tea!” he stammered. “Let’s go get a pot.” I was flabbergasted to say the least. I turned off the light, put on my coat, and locked the door. We trotted a half block to Starbucks. Amazingly, we talked for hours about nothing but tea. We drank, listened to the piped in music, and became friends. Who would have imagined that the vacuum cleaner fanatic would turn out to be a great guy?