Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Adjusting to a new culture. Hmm.
For those of you who may think that Ireland is not a very different culture, English speaking and McDonalds and all that, let me say one thing to you: Tea.
Where I come from, tea is noisy. The ice in the cup makes a scuttling noise as the spoon scrapes against the plastic bottom, breaking up the sugar or Sweet n Low, which never really dissolves. The sound of the crushed ice in the Sonic cup rushing against the styrofoam sides to your mouth. The squeaking moan of the straw through the flimsy lid when you shove it to the very bottom for the dregs. I come from the land where it is served cold, over ice, sickeningly sweet, in styrofoam cups and plastic diner glasses. (I never really liked iced tea anyway, I was picturing a Sonic Coke when I wrote that.)

Here, tea is polite, unassuming, and hot. Any sounds associated with its consumption are muffled and discreet, like a lady muffling a belch behind her hand. The sound of water boiling is only a quiet gurgle, maybe a steamy rush as it floods the thick, insulated inside of a mug or thermos, and the creamy, almost inaudible splash of milk on top. The soft sipping sound through your lips as you test its temperature.
Iced tea is the fat American in the fanny pack that raises one side of his ass to fart on the bus then fans it away with his copy of Frommer's Dublin Guidebook.

They say some like it hot. I do. Not because of the taste, which I still have to dilute with sugar, but because it always gives you something to do. (If I ever became a smoker, it would be for this reason. That, or to die of lung cancer.) Every threshold you cross in this country has a cup of tea on the other side. Once you get used to drinking ten cups a day, it's not so bad. In fact, I owe tea a debt. Not only do you get used to the taste, you stop being hungry, which is nice for someone sitting at home bored all day.
But I don't mean that when I get back to Texas I will just have a nice mug of hot tea, instead of taking my fanny pack straight to Sonic for a real Coke and some tater tots. I'm just saying, is all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hee hee. I'm glad I checked your blog. Yes, every once in awhile I do even though usually I'm just disappointed with the last blog STILL staring me in the face. But not this time. And you even said fart!

So, since you're never hungry, might you still be winning The Biggest Loser??