Xiaoyi and Xiaoyi Fu had given me few boxes of Biluochun tea when I went to visit them in 2003. Those are great green tea.
On an impulse I went to visit Auntie Spalding with Lin. It was a weekend afternoon. She was home alone. Her daughter had married and living elsewhere. After all we’ve been through with each other, I was nervous. So when Lin rang her door bell, I stayed behind. When she opened the door, she looked bit surprised too, and asked if it’s his sister who’s behind him. When I inched half step forward and greeted her, she hardly said anything.
Actually during our brief stay there, she hardly said anything to me, nor toward my direction. Lin presented a nicely packaged tea to her. In a vantage manner, she jumped up and went to another room while saying she had a nicer tea in the house.
Ok, I knew it’s Beijing. But after all those years, couldn’t one learn a thing or two, like being politer to someone who’s a generation younger?
She came back with an opened tea gift box. She took it out, and enthusiastically showed Lin why her tea was the nicer one, without opening Lin’s. I didn’t remember a thing about the tea but deeply embarrassed and felt guilty or sorry for Lin (although he volunteered to go with me ..) .. and was very relieved that I wasn’t there alone.
It’s been more than 7 years since but that afternoon seemed still very vivid, won’t fading away. It’s very much like Anutie Jennie too. This past Christmas I sent her a pair of sapphire earrings. She called to tell me that she had received it and went on to say she had a lot such jewelry with far bigger stones .. that she doesn’t even bother to wear.
I wondered if my negativity was being nurtured China back then.
Top 10 tea in China: