Sunday, May 20, 2012

Jenny Beattie - One Thing I've Learnt


Not for all the tea in China
 
Except I’m not in China, I’m in Thailand; but still, a western woman in an eastern culture. When I moved here seven years ago, Western tea was Lipton’s. That didn’t cut it with me; I’m a Brit. I needed hardcore builders’ tea.
 
I soon discovered that, set in my ways as I was, asking for a cup of tea was much more of a liability and that being served Lipton’s was a good result. I could be given Chinese green tea (which is lovely in its own right but not builders’ tea) or it could be Japanese tea, which is different again and powdery. I could get hot-ish water - getting colder by the second - with the tea bag waiting patiently on the side. Sometimes the tea was black (YAY) but it was presweetened or it was served with condensed milk or steamed milk…
 
Of course, I’m not just talking about tea here. When I moved to this new culture what I thought I knew about life was thrown upside down and shaken about. I’ve had my ideas challenged, my palette widened and my notions confronted.
 
And now, I’ll pretty much drink my tea however it comes.

10 comments:

JO said...

Oh that cup of cooling water with the tea bag still in the saucer - no, that can never be Proper Tea. But sometimes it's the best you can do. (Do you have friends from the UK who can send tea bags, bring them when they visit?)

I know it's very British - but, like you, builders' tea is one of the few things I miss when I'm away. I get used to the dishwater-stuff, as it's better than nothing. But that first cup of tea when I get home is wonderful!

Jenny Beattie said...

Hello, thank you so much for having me Liz.

Jo, yes I ask EVERYONE to bring tea. I bring it, my family and all my husband's colleagues! They do sell it here but it's very expensive.

I've had to get used to so many things new things and tea is just one of them!

liz fenwick said...

Thank you for being here Jenny!

And JO being an expat like Jenny you adapt but I remember living in Houston and one of the key pieces of information was where we could source 'real' tea. Even now my father brings large bags of PG Tips back to Florida with him after every visit to me in the UK (and he's not English!)

lx

Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

I always used to take my tea with me on trips, but now I seem to be able to get Twinings Earl Grey wherever I go. I haven't visited Thailand though, so if I'm lucky enough to do so, I'll have to remember to take some with me.

Jenny Beattie said...

Debs, I am so sad that I take my tea on holiday with me. Shocking, eh? You'd be okay if you visited here but not if you moved!

Annieye said...

I love my tea - can't cope in the mornings without at least two mugs of builders' tea. My hubby, like Debs, drinks Twinings Earl Grey, but with two big spoons of sugar!

D.J. Kirkby said...

I'm not sure if I could cope...I mean messing with tea time? That's a BIG deal!

Chris Stovell said...

I run on tea too - my current fetish is leaf tea; Earl Grey, Darjeeling, Chai - so much more flavour than tea bags, but, I'd rather a teabag than no tea!

Jenny Beattie said...

I love Earl Grey too. I love green tea but best of all, I love a cup of builders... xx

liz fenwick said...

JJ - I'm with you on that although now for some reason I find Earl Grey too strong...hopefully that feeling will disappear as for years that was my favourite!
lx