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Old 19-02-2007, 03:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Afternoon Tea by Emily Hiestand

Tea is the steady companion of the Scottish day, and each hotel, no matter how humble, stocks its rooms with supplies for brew-ups: electric pot for boiling water, ceramic pot for brewing, china cups and small tea-creamers, a raft of teas, honey, fresh milk, and lemons. This is a delight and astonishment, for not only is there no such thing in American hotels, but room service even in respectable ones, when asked for tea with milk, can deliver a plastic jug of tepid water, this covered by a square of Saran Wrap, and a drinking glass of milk. To request tea in an American office is often to throw the receptionist into a swivet: he or she believes that there is tea somewhere in the corporate pantry, but where? One prefers not to ask rather than to send this person on a scavenger mission, especially because the tea, if found, is a grim bag-tea like Red Rose. Naturally, one might as well ask for a trip to Bombay as to ask for looseleaf Earl Grey, or first-flush Darjeeling, or Assam tips. Home is a fluid place; each day at four o'clock, I could easily be an expatriate.
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