I was born to a house of tea drinkers. My mother would buy some Darjeeling tea which she would place in her hands, close it and blow her warm breath into it. Then she would slowly open up her hands to place her nose into the aroma. This was how she would determine the quality of the tea. I have picked up this trait from her. She would then mix this with some Assam Tea dust to provide the strong colour while the leafy tea would give out its lovely fragrance. The combination of both would provide the best of tea to be served with a dash of milk and sugar to taste. My parents would wake up with a cup of steaming ‘bed tea’. I make it a point to take along my quota of tea bags with me whenever I travel, just in case I end up tea-less. I must confess my addiction to my tea.
Now I would like to say something about coffee and the strange effect it has on me. I used to drink Nescafe with milk and sugar occasionally when offered by friends. I had my first encounter with brewed and filtered coffee when I began to work in an international mission. My colleagues – the baristas – would brew coffee unfailingly in the – mornings, afternoons and before five. The dry smoky sweetish burnt aroma would surely find its way into my nostrils, going right into my tummy to tickle my guts until the need to throw up would surface. It would be rude to let them know what I was undergoing with each coffee break so I’d keep mum.
Last week while having lunch at the staff canteen I overheard a girl from another department complaining of feeling sick with the aroma of coffee. She uttered the words, ‘Goodness, I just can’t stand the smell of coffee’. I couldn’t believe my ears. The words were like music to me. ‘Hey don’t you like coffee?’ I asked earnestly. She replied with a yes. I was so relieved to hear that and she went on to say that another female staff felt the same way. So there were three of us and I was not the only ‘freak’ around.
I now feel normal and sane but I guess I will continue to have my share of ‘morning sickness’ come coffee time. I know that I have no option but to learn to live with it.