Have a life crisis?
Work getting you down?
Got “the lurgy*?”
Trying to configure the meaning of life, cure cancer, or otherwise bring about world peace?
May I suggest the British fix-it and cure-all: TEA.
Yes, tea. Tea is the thing that is boiled, brewed, slid onto desks, gently placed into hands, and otherwise forced onto a person if any situation looks even remotely like it could be a bit rough going**.
Sure, you say, there are things like science and logic and possibly a good long counseling session that might make things turn out for the best. But this is NOTHING in comparison to tea.
Today I experienced a minor work tragedy, though it’s one of those where the entire office finds out over just being something that could be fixed quickly and quietly. There is nothing like the heat of the social spotlight shining brightly upon you whilst frantically pulling paperwork to prove you aren’t mad, the problem wasn’t caused by you, and you don’t need sectioning***. In the midst of my paranoia, where I was doing everything to not dissolve into a weeping puddle of crazy, I was offered not once, not twice, but three times: tea.
This is the point in which I discuss my general tea intake in comparison to the British population.
In general I consume 1/2 to 1 cup tea per day. When I lived in warmer climates I didn’t drink tea, for some reason I drank coffee and only the kind that would be described as milk with a shot of coffee. But cold weather and British accents changed my tune. In comparison I have several colleagues who inhale enough tea to possibly have it replace all oxygen intake. (I am not yet sure if they can claim carbon emission offset via PG Tips****.) There is, at last count, at least 7.8 billion ways I’ve seen tea advertised, lauded, applauded, and otherwise noted as being something you MUST have in your life even if you don’t like it.
And that is because tea fixes everything. It’s amazing that there isn’t yet an agenda for replacing oil and gas with tea-power. Though I’m sure that someone, somewhere, is working frantically on it.
I’ve tried the tea fix on several occasions but find it faulty on some levels. For instance, when my phone was stolen it did not result in the return of the phone, though it did result in something to hold onto while giving the police my report. At other times tea is not good for things like race preparation, because my tummy is not designed to handle caffeine and then run 13.1 miles. But the gesture of the tea giving, in which the unsolicited person carries forth a tray of tea, and even better, includes biscuits*****, means that there is a general sense of comfort. A feeling that, should it all go down in flames and the world decides that yes, it does in fact hate you, at least you’ve had something to drink.
So the next time you find yourself in a pickle, wondering what to do next, give the tea fix a try. It might work, it might not, but here in England it’s always an option.
English to American translation guide for the above blog post:
* “the lurgy:” Defined as a general illness. Can be anything from a cold to the Ebola virus. Don’t worry, rest and tea will fix it.
** “a bit rough going:” Bad. Really, really, bad. But in a nice way.
*** sectioning: Being placed into an asylum or mental institution. At first I thought this meant being specially assigned, then I found it meant you were crazy. Really crazy.
**** PG Tips: The only acceptable tea in my office. Though they will allow a bit of fancy Twinnings tea to appease outsiders.
***** biscuits: Crunchy cookies. While Americans consider all cookies cookies British people differentiate. This is also why there is no VAT on cake. They take baking seriously.
Have you ever come across Douglas Adams’ instructions on how to make tea? This reminded me of them…
Actually yesterday while I was writing this I recalled the section in the Hitchhiker’s Guide where the Heart of Gold shuts down and falls out of orbit because all it is doing is processing the proper way to make tea. I get so much of Douglas’ writing now, he left us too soon!
You are so right! If I’m struggling a bit in the morning, I’ll make it a ‘two tea’ morning.
But does your office make tea the proper way?!
Depends on who you talk to. We do, incidentally, have a tea wiki which explains all tea related items as well as how much milk in on hand for those who prefer it.
It’s very true….tea solves all life’s problems….so tell me, after 2.5 years are you hooked on tea yet? It doesn’t take long!