A finger crooked around a porcelain handle or a palm flat against a warming mug, tea is for making life here slow down a little, just for a few minutes. It comes in all forms and we make the choice between jasmine, green, peppermint or milk. Between life in an Asian culture, supping boiling yellow chai from a teapot in a crowded Chinese café and accepting endless, limitless cups poured from the hands of dim-sum waitresses as they shout your orders loud. They are not so different, these Cantonese neighbours. We believe in tea too.
Becca believes in scouring Wellcome supermarkets for boxes of Yorkshire teabags. In boiling the kettle, in clicking the button for the red light, in stirring a teaspoon around a Causeway Bay Ikea cup. In drinking tea in the morning and thinking about our Mums at home, brewing up without us. In drinking tea on a typhoon day as the smattering rain punches against 4th floor windows, floods a Hennessy balcony or steals electricity from your Stanley hideaway. Milk tea for England and all the Royal celebrations we missed. Milk tea for reading letters from far-away friends on mornings off. Milk tea for when the temperature drops and the chestnuts start selling. Milk tea for us, far from home, in our China city.
Choosing green. Green tea for weight loss, green tea for a speedy metabolism, green tea because Andy’s friend John told us so. Green tea because we do yoga now, because there is a junk boat coming up, because we’ve lost the battle against cold-eyed California Fitness meddlers. We’re sure the slight, waif-like Hong Kong girls in their wedged flip-flops and backless dresses drink it by the gallon. These have been our media idols- the skyscraper high billboard princesses – in a land where talking about weight is never shushed. Is there a baby in there? Woah, so fat! Your arms are very big. *We roll our eyes *
Tea because we’re not on holiday. Because Hong Kong has been home.