After my morning cup of Keemun, I naturally fell into a reverie about tea. Its deep velvety taste had my thoughts meandering over the many cups I have drunk -both alone, and when shared with others.
I thought of the time, several years ago, when I was in Hanoi with my mom and aunt. The three of us had gathered around a small table, with a cousin, who the two of us -my mom and me- were meeting for the first time. We were in the middle of Lake Hoan Kiem, in an airy pavillion, with hordes of tourists around us. But as we sat there on low wooden benches, sharing tea and stories of our disparate lives, we were oblivious to the tumult of voices around us. Our cousin, a groundskeeper for the small island on the lake, had remained in Hanoi, whereas the three of us had joined the diaspora overseas -so that the trajectory of his life was much different from ours.
He talked to us in such a naturally intimate way about himself that I felt an emotional connection -one that transcended the familial- to a cousin that I had just met.
I do not remember what kind of tea I had nor the kind of cup it was served in, just that my cup was always replenished attentively to the brim, as the four of us sat around a small table in the midday heat of Hanoi.