Got confused by the recent political Town Hall Tea Parties. For one thing, no one served tea. But a lot of yelling about health and insurance. Well, then, they should have serrved tea, a great source of antioxidants, especially if you drink green tea.
The Cleveland Tea Party, of course, was a great symbol of American spirit, when we tossed, at the behest of the coffee lobby, all that damn tea – Earl Grey? – into Lake Erie in 1773 because we weren't going to be taxed without etc. etc.
On the other hand, why toss stuff into the water that can detoxify you? – oh, right, they didn't know about toxins then, though our ancestors were playing with mercury and lead (if you were shot with a lead ball you could die from lead poisoning, it was said, sometimes in a split second).
Tea Parties, or, tea ceremonies, for instance the famous Cuban Tea Ceremony, are supposed to calm you down, put you in a relaxed state (the Revolution aside), but I never saw the hint of anyone relaxing in those Town Hall Tea Parties.
Another thing, a lot of the yelling, as indicated above, was about health care, and bursting your blood pressure meter (or whatever it's called) can hardly be good for your health, or the meter, though if it gets you out of there quickly, maybe it's good for the insurance companies.
Real tea brings people together, as well as countries, as do real tea parties, unless it's a British tea party in a Noel Coward comedy.
You can hardly name a country without tea. Japan, India and China, of course; African countries boast rooibos teas; Chekhov's people talked about tea brewing in the samover about as much as they talk about getting out of the countryside and into Moscow. They used tea to chase Cognac. And of course, blimey, the British and tea!
Need we say more? In fact, tea could be the key to world peace, unlike those Town Hall Tea Parties, which seem to want to do the oppositie.
Tea is about as international as Red Room. In fact, I've gotten a lot of advice about tea from a number of Red Roomers. Belle Yang, and her parents Joseph and Laning, have introduced Nancy and me to Safeway's green tea, a Japanese Sen-cha tea. It's very good and good for you.
Jitu Rajgor suggested we try Darjeeling tea and it is superb. According to Tami Safi's book Healthy Teas, the Darjeeling region of India borders Nepal and, "At dawn, Himalayan women set off to pick the tea leaves of this variety that is considered the champagne of teas.''
In Uzbekistan tea is exceedingly popular. When our daughter Anne served in the Peace Corps, life with the Babamuratova family (Mumin and Anzeurat, and their children Aziz and Grinny) in Samarkand included tea morning (black tea for energy) and night (green tea to relax). ``They live and die with tea,'' says Anne, ``as I did.''
The Uzbeks have a charming chant when pouring the tea from tea pot to cup, three times, thus insuring a perfect brew. It goes: "Bir loi, icki moi, ooch choi". Which is basically "First (pour) mud, second (pour) oil, third (pour) tea.''
Sounds much more romantic and civilized than the Town Hall Tea Party participants, who, given the general mood of the gatherings, would probably cut down the tea trees and grind them into paper pulp.
Causes Steve Hauk Supports
City of Pacific Grove Public Library, Pacific Grove, California; Animal Friends Rescue Project, Pacific Grove; Animal Welfare Information and Assistance,...