Tea Parties, Beer Runs and the Return of Henna

After Noah and I did our laundry, we wanted to try a world tea shop to see if we could find a new steady source of tea. It’s all Noah drinks aside from Americanos and I love a good hot cup of tea in the morning if it’s available.

The place we stopped inside promised some interesting things to choose from, pu-erh tea, oolong, red, and sencha. The guy who owned the place seemed a little out of place though. He didn’t seem like the chill old man that I assumed would sell tea. Instead he was a conservative republican who didn’t believe free-trade tea existed.

When I asked him if any of his tea was free-trade, he sighed and rolled his eyes. “Free trade tea doesn’t exist (little girl)” he didn’t say that last part but he might as well have, cause I felt 12 years old again.

“Here’s a map of tea estates in India,” I looked at the map. He proceeded to tell me in so many words that the people over there are fine and exploitation wasn’t something to worry about. “In China, all of this stuff is subsidized by the government and they set the prices. No one’s gonna try ato tell the Chinese how to set their prices.” He said a few more things about China, about how we’re not to trust in anything they tell us. . .

Noah was on his way out the door, taking his Communist leanings with him, but I was persistent. I wanted him to tell more about his teas. He was quite knowledgeable, especially about his Japaneses teas, but he slipped up again. “They’ve got those fancy tea ceremonies in Japan, not much to them. I’ve been to one and I don’t think I’ll back. Kinda boring really.”

Our field trip to the tea shop ended with the owner telling us what a bang-up job Scott Walker was doing in Wisconsin and how those ideas need to be implemented here in Toledo. This was, of course, before Noah told him that he was an English professor. Sigh. That’s one less place to spend our money.

Our beverage excursion wasn’t totally in vain, we did find a package store that sells a Thai beer I haven’t been able to find here in the states.

Chang Beer was almost all I drank in Bangkok and I’ve been longing for it since. I don’t think the owner of that store completely understood how amazing this find was. I was on the verge of tears because of this beer while he quietly rang it up. Noah and I expect to return to this hidden gem in the future.

Our last stop of the day was at a local coffee shop called Biggby Coffee, where I got back to using my henna. It’s been sitting in a suitcase going stale. After a few goes with it, I managed to get out a proper design. I’ve gotten a little rusty with my craft, but I think by the time we finally settle down, I’m going to seek out an Indian grocery and stock up again. Like most skills, if you don’t practice often, you can get real rusty. Here’s what I came up with though:

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