Horrible title, yes, you can comment about it! I came home today and realized I was all out of tea. Not even those reserves of Twinings tea bags. And this reminded me of one of my thathas (because saying granduncle seems too impersonal) who would never be found without his cup of tea or his stories as a tea taster. He grew up in Sri Lanka, see, as a tea taster and always had wondrous tales for us kids about his travels to different countries to well, taste tea. Of how even though there wasn’t a common language a group of people would walk around a table with different cups of tea. Of course I was more interested in his tales of the different languages he spoke (from Russian to Sinhalese) than staring at the tea plantations we used to visit.
Speaking of tea, a friend told me that she had participated in ‘Tea With Strangers’ and begged me to try it. Tea? Strangers? Haha, why not, right? It’s quite possibly one of the more interesting things I’ve done while here. Just a google search showed me of lots of people doing similar things and this one is what I happened to come to know of first. It’s a pretty interesting concept of signing up with a host and a few others who are essentially strangers for tea time conversations. I’ve been to a few, but so far, I have enjoyed the conversations and also seeing how these conversations evolve. And it helps you look at things from perspectives that you haven’t before considered . Conversations meander across themes, a little like a concoction where everyone spikes it with their favourite flavours. Tales that could range from crazy holiday experiences to language perception and cartography. I’ve found it interesting just to hear different stories and what has kept people connected to this city (silly Philly, yes, has grown on me) and have unique tales. Perhaps it’s the fact that there is no a priori expectation to what the conversation might ensue or how people who probably would have never met or talked to otherwise decide to give it a shot. To strangers. Maybe to place faith on our innate curiosity. Or simply, we are social beings? Either way, it has been interesting, not to say the least, a fun experience. It’s time we open up to more stories.
If only it was remotely warm for a few blocks’ worth of walking to get to the grocery store, I wouldn’t have sat down to write out this post. Perhaps tomorrow it will be tea, rain and books.