Tea is huge in Russia. It’s a whole cultural thing. People drink tea at least three times a day – once between breakfast and lunch, again between lunch and dinner, and after dinner with a dessert. It’s not just tea, there’s always something, usually sweet, to eat with it. It might be a cake, cookies, a chocolate bar, or just jam or honey — bring your own spoon and dig in. The problem is I don’t really like tea.
It’s okay once in a while – a mint tea when my throat hurts, a Sleepytime Tea or Tension Tamer (affiliate links) when I need to relax, or Christmas tea when I want to be in the holiday mood. But every day? So, I’ve adapted and started drinking tea once a day.
Sometime last year, a local store had 100 Earl Grey tea bags (affiliate link) on sale. I picked them up, so I wouldn’t have to choose a tea for the foreseeable future. I could just say “Earl Grey.” When we got Jenya’s visa for the U.S., we still had 30 or 40 bags left. Krakatoa blew up, UFOs were confirmed, murder hornets showed up in the U.S., and there was the whole coronavirus thing you might have heard about. Maybe I just needed to finish that tea.
So, I made an effort, and yesterday, I held the last tea bag up high. The light glinted off the staple holding the string to the bag as the bag spun in a circle. I dipped into the water and let it rest for three to five minutes. Then I finished the tea and shouted the news of my victory to the world to let it know I had fulfilled my obligation and my quest. I would have my just reward now!
Nothing happened. There weren’t even fireworks, which is weird because they happen on most other nights in Blago. It didn’t make a difference to the crazy things going on in the world. I mean Axl Rose was feuding with Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who was self-owned when he asked Rose what he had done for his country lately and included the flag of Liberia in the tweet. I’m pretty sure Rose isn’t Liberian, or maybe he’s a secret Liberian. Has anyone seen his birth certificate? (Mnuchin deleted the tweet and sent one with the U.S. Flag later.)
At least I know that it wasn’t my lack of tea drinking that caused the world to get out of kilter. But now I have a new problem, what tea will I be drinking tonight? (Author’s note: “A clever cup of tea” in the title comes from “Juliet, Naked” (affiliate link).)