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Posted by Luminosity , in Tea Blog, Food & Drink, Personal, Health 02 July 2012 · 1,489 views


Decided to check out new Italian restaurant in Chinatown. Map is studied. Route through maze of one-way streets is plotted. A precious parking space is snagged next to an outdoor brick marketplace smelling of incense. The signs say, alternatively, "no parking" and "3 minute passenger loading zone." No one is paying attention to either one. The lava rock curb bears traces of red paint. Opinions of the denizens vary. A policewoman says, "We don't usually enforce parking regulations on weekends."


I am totally distracted by an open shop with a cat in the doorway. It sells every kind of tropical fruit imaginable: mangos, lychees, passion fruit, mountain apples, papayas, pomelos, avocados, sugar cane, green coconuts, ripe coconuts, even chocolate fruits. It's all so wondrous but it doesn't look like it's in the greatest condition. I spend so much time bedazzled by fruit that by the time I find the Italian restaurant, it is closed. I find a Vietnamese restaurant but when I look in the door, it is a Vietnamese acupuncturist. Fortunately, across the street is a turquoise door that says Pho. The tables inside are covered with turquoise table cloths. I get some lunch. Then I follow the row of fruit shops until I find one with a single bag of lychees hanging on a hook above the sidewalk.


"When was this picked?" I ask


"This morning." says the lady organizing the bags of dried foods spilling out onto the sidewalk.


Good answer. I ask again because sometimes Asians tell people what they want to hear. She is firm. I am dazzled by the open sacks of herbs and seeds. Inside a whole wall is stacked to the ceiling with different kinds of tea. This could take a while. A woman who works there is very knowledgeable. I end up buying about forty dollars worth of merchandise, including a sack of rose buds, bitter gourd tea, and jujubes which I am to add to other teas in case they are too "cool." We talked at length about how bad it is that Americans drink cold water and eat cold food. I learned that you should not wash your hair when you have your period. It was really quite delightful. When I asked about good black teas she pulled something out of a special container made of woven leaves and placed it in my hands with a certain emphasis. It was a wheel of aged Yunnan tea, seven years old, wrapped in paper. It was costly but it seemed impolitic to refuse. I pulled my haul to the car and looked longingly at the Pomelo outside the cat store because I was maxed out.


I went to a special place downtown to pray. I got in my car and came to this mall. I got some dim sum. I placed my bag of fresh lychees proudly on the table. Yes, they are on display. I ate the dim sum with white tea with rosebuds and lychees.


And it's a good day.


See the rest of my tea blog here: http://www.longecity...g/?cat=59&st=10

Find some of my writing about food and drink here: http://www.longecity...og/?cat=9&st=10

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