Tea And Crumpets

Mom: What’s time is it Anthony?

Me: We’re standing in front of Big Ben.

Mom: oh yeah.

This happened while strolling in one of London’s many torrential downpours. The English capital has always provided me with many memorable moments. However, I couldn’t just capture that moment, bring it home and play it off as a souvenir. Therefore, we wanted to bring home a special keepsake from our favorite city.

When the rain gave way to blue skies, we marched into Oxford Street. For some reason, we both had a fascination with Marks & Spencer (JC Penny with food). The food section tickled our fancy. I gathered up cookies and candies. Mom (an avid tea drinker) picked out chamomile, English, Earl Grey and green flavored teas. In fact, she went on tea overload, purchasing boxes of grey Marks & Spencer brand teas.

As we left Marks & Spencer’s for the tube, the feeling of tea overload officially hit us sans pouring a bag with water into a proper cup. When our train arrived, she handed me the heavy bag. “I believe we bought too many boxes of tea.” She raised her right eyebrow and replied, “no we didn’t, it’s for our family and friends.”

“If you say so,” I replied. My hands felt tired from schlepping those teas around. On the flight back home, I ate most of the sweets. I didn’t get scolded, since we were on a long flight.

When I returned back home one drawer was stuffed with the English department store brand tea. My mom gave dad a few boxes to give to his co-workers, but it didn’t elevate our tea dilemma.

“There are orphans in the third world without tea, we must drink it all,” she said. At first, it was OK. Then she started serving it after every meal and not a damn crumpet to be found. I would go to bed at night with my mom dancing around me singing, “Remember the orphans without tea.”

I hit my breaking point. My dad served me a soothing cup of coffee. “How about tea instead?” asked my mom. “I’m done, I can’t any more,” I replied with great confidence. From that day on, I couldn’t drink tea ever again. Till this day, it fueled my love of the coffee bean. However, I do love a chai latte, especially when it’s laced with a shot of espresso.

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