After writing group yesterday, I was having a chat with one of my fellow writers. She mentioned that the coffee shop where we meet was having a “tea tasting,” complete with free tea samples. I told her that I’ve never liked tea. As soon as the words left my mouth, however, I realized that they weren’t completely true.
There was one time when I really enjoyed having a cup of tea. Back in the mid-90s, I spent my junior year of college in Hamburg, Germany (one of my two majors was Germanic Studies). One of the classes I took while I was there was “History of Texas.” I find this somewhat ironic now that I live in Texas, a place I never dreamed of moving to. For reasons I no longer recall, a lot of Germans immigrated to Texas in the mid- to late-1800s. So there is a strange connection between the two, and a lot of Germans seem fascinated with the place.
At any rate, in this class I met a young graduate student, whom I will call M.C., who was from the city I now call home: Austin. He took the class on a whim. M.C. was an interesting fellow: studying in Germany on his own, member of a punk rock band, very well read. I now realize that he had a lot of Austin in him, so to speak.
One of the more interesting things about M.C. is that he was absolutely obsessed with the process of making a cup of tea. This was very fascinating to my 20-year-old self. In fact, I think I would find it fascinating even now. A 25-year-old man who had fallen in love with the beauty of making a cup of tea? Honestly, it almost sounds like I’ve made it up.
M.C. had purchased a real tea set, from a local antique shop, I think. He also used to purchase these rocks of sugar. I have no idea where a person would get such a thing. He loved to pour the hot tea over these rocks, and listen to how they would crackle and break apart. Even more, he loved to slowly pour in the cream in, watching the interesting patterns it would make as the two liquids would swirl together.
His enthusiasm was infectious. How could I not enjoy this process? How could I not enjoy the tea itself? The anticipation alone made it taste better.
I have never had tea like this again. And perhaps that is my problem with tea. Perhaps it’s just not as good without the ceremony. I wonder, were I to try to replicate this process, if it would be as good, or if it would seem hollow without M.C.’s enthusiasm. Who’s to say? I don’t own a tea set myself, which is why there is no accompanying picture with this post.
I often wonder whatever happened to M.C. We haven’t spoken to or seen each other now for some 16 years, but I have some very fond memories associated with him. Someday, I’ll have to share one of my others with you, but today, let’s just think about tea.
2012 Goal Update
Goal 1: Finished Chapter 18. Wrote two pages of Chapter 19 (also wrote some notes for this chapter). Wrote 3rd blog post, but continue to be a little frustrated that I’m not sure where the blog is going.
Goal 2: I didn’t think about this at all this week.
Goal 3: Unfortunately, date night was interrupted when the husband had to do some work for his actual paying gig. He did buy me flowers and chocolates earlier in the week, though.
Goal 4: Got in a walk on my extra day off on Monday, but didn’t manage a second walk I’d planned for later in the week, which disappoints me. Applied for just one of the two jobs I found. Got a lead on a good job website.