Today is one of those rainy days that had me wandering out into the world alone. Downtown. I forgot this place existed. I’m half-joking here, considering I’ve been to the pool hall a few times in the past few months. But really, I’m such a shut-in. Today’s mission was only to get my cellphone screen and glass replaced then get some Teaberry gum from the candy store around the corner and wait out the repair. Except around the other corner is a Vietnamese restaurant that doesn’t cater to bland palates, like the one close to my house. Despite having had a bowl of soup a few hours earlier, I soon found myself sitting at a table with a big pot of tea and a rice noodle plate.
This tea was served, already brewed, in a large ceramic pot. The green tea was a good Vietnamese green, a little fruity, and the ginseng provided a hint of rooty, bitter-astringent zing and visceral warmth. The pandan leaf took it over the top. Toasted rice, vanilla, coconut, wafers. Supreme comfort. Dessert tea. Of course I drank the entire pot.
The smells and tastes, the overcast day. It was like being back in Vietnam. Including having no cellphone. I wish I could be rid of that thing. Heck, I could probably get by without it considering I no longer need one for work. Sometimes I feel like such a Luddite.