Tea Tasting with the Locals
Tonight is our last night in Guangzhou. Tears. This is definitely one of my favorite cities. It’s still a tie between here and Hong Kong. Anyway, for our last night, a group of about 7 of us decided to hit the night market again in hopes of grabbing some last minute souvenirs. We were headed to a tea shop, but not just any tea shop. My classmate went there a couple days ago. He had such a great experience talking with the sweet store owner lady and he promised her he’d be back. He bought rare quality teas for a price that’s a steal. He was kind enough to take a couple of us again, tonight. I was not at all expecting this to be one of the best nights of the trip.
Times Flies When Sippin’ Tea
As we walk in, we are greeted by a quaint, four-walled shop with the back wall filled with glass jars of tea leaves. The lady only speaks Cantonese, but luckily we have the majority of the group to translate. She is very generous, probably the sweetest Chinese citizen I’ve met my whole stay. She kept the tea and conversation consistent. Like really once she starts pouring the tea, she doesn’t stop. In the best way! We tried teas with amazing health benefits, such as improved liver function, stomach aches, colds, skin irritations, and so much more. We sampled teas that start as a flower and bloom when water is added. I’ve never felt so peaceful. I could physically feel the effects of each tea take over my state. They tasted great too! Each with their own unique smell and flavor. She loved pictures and we took many, throughout the night! Group pictures outside the store, together toasting and making cheers to great a night. She even took solo pictures of each of us. She gave us great deals on the tea, along with presents at the end. We each received little baggies of another tea and a little tea scooper. Me personally, I bought 35 RMB worth of a twiggy tea and 5 packets of the chrysanthemum flower bud tea. I can’t wait to share them with my loved ones! We had such a great time, we ended up staying 2 hours! I don’t think I’ve ever spent 2 hours in any shop. Maybe Black Friday? But that wasn’t half as fun.
I See the Light
From this night, I’ve gained so much insight and appreciation. This lady, who I can not even understand one word of, has made two hours of my life fly by. I don’t know how to read her store name, sadly. And we never exchanged names! But when we would take pictures, she would hug me close and make us all feel so appreciated. When I have positive interactions with people who don’t share my same native tongue and/or upbringing, I love it. It makes me feel so in tune with humanity. Kay, I’m cheesy, but this is what makes me happy. We’re all the same regardless of what you speak or where you were born. But not only that; my appreciation of Eastern medicine has immensely grown throughout this trip, peaking tonight. If you know me, I’m not the biggest fan of all the drugs we overuse, especially when there’s a simple natural fix! I feel like tea is like the best medicine for nearly all minor or major ailments. With each cup she poured and each translation I heard, I gained appreciation and considered making this part of my life more and more. There needs to be prominent tea tasting, in America! We have so many luxuries, so why not this one? Screw wine tasting. I want tea. Can I patent this idea? Maybe I should get an entrepreneurship minor…
Conclusion: I’m having so much fun here! It’s sad to leave this town. I had a rare, magical night in the Guangzhou tea shop, next to Sun Yat-sen U. This is a new chapter in my life. Tea over everythang.