Saturday, September 14, 2013

Journal Entry 4/8/13 Continued: Ah Li Oolong

Eventually, up in the mountains, we found some food and I bought a Mt. Ah Li post card at the 7-11. We were warmed by the meal, but chilled by the night when the restaurant owner learned that I sell tea in the States. He was excited and really wanted to sell me some tea. He made us some tea, and we were onto the farm. We tried his tea, because you never know what you might find, but we were on our way to the source. It was strange, because we could smell tea only for a bit. We drove with the windows down trying to smell the tea. Wafts of high mountain fog assaulted us as we rounded corners. I stuck my nose out the window trying to smell the tea .“We've had it. It doesn't smell like tea here. They aren't making tea.” That was a bad sign. It wasn't raining, but there was no tea smell. “If they were making tea here now, this whole place would smell like tea. No smell of tea means that the tea hasn't been picked yet, so even if it is picked tomorrow, it won't be ready until we are back home.”

So it really seemed like we might not have any luck. Dark, cold, steep, sharp—these are the backroad conditions. And I just wanted to smell the tea. But all that I could get was the damp, fluffy mountain air—that in its darkness, hid everything—even the smell.  

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