Thursday, March 21, 2013

March 21. Day 80. Something's brewing

I made an excellent find today. Truely excellent. The type of find that takes you back to a different time and a different place. Quite bizarely I made this find in a tea shop at South Bank.
There among the fancy pants tea pots and smelly brews was a sealed bag of Turkish orange tea.
The last time I had Turkish orange tea was in April 1990 in Istambul. Apple tea I've had many a time since in just about every Turkish restaurant I've visited (and there have been many). But orange tea was, I thought, a distant memory.
On that trip of a lifetime to Turkey we drank a lot of orange tea. (We also drank a lot of Raki, an anaseed-based rocket fuel which led to many an adventure including finding myself on an Australian naval ship in Istambul harbour at 3am drinking in the NCO's mess but I digress).
Everywhere you went in the Grand Bazaar the stall keepers tried to lure you into their treasure trove with the promise of apple or orange tea.
The apple brew was good. The orange one, excellent. As I recall it was extraordinarily sweet tasting rather like OrangTang only hot.
It was a sport, like bartering over the price. I'll give you tea. You'll at least check out my carpet, my leather jackets or my Turkish pants.
The stall keepers also saw white women as a bit of a sport. There were never any change rooms so they would promise to leave and invite you to change down the back. They would leave - but only for as long as it took to go and find their mates so they could all look.
Try on a jacket and they would insist on adjusting it to ensure it was sitting properly. Inevitably that meant putting their hand into the jacket in the breast area. Yeah, yeah whatever.
Looking back it sounds incredibly tasteless and pervy but at the time it was all part of being in a strange place and breathing in the strange culture.
It was as unfamiliar and interesting as the wailing sounds from the mosques. Now I'm sure I would react differently but on the other hand it is most unlikely anyone would want to look at my thighs now.
But there's no harm in nostalgia is there? Just let me but the kettle on. I want to breathe in the sweet smell of hot orange.

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