Chai

I found myself quite heartily disagreeing with, out of all things, the quote my gmail inbox offered me with my Earl Grey tea this morning : “There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.” – Sylvia Plath.

Nursing the flu and a horrendous cough and cold, I could only shudder at the thought of peeling even one layer off my five (one of which is heat-tech, fyi) only to plunge myself into yet another change of temperature, with the prospect of my fingers shivering up like prunes and my mind wishing for the water to be scalding hot but my already-peeling sore red nose and face shying away with reluctance.

(Much ado about what constitutes as hygiene and perhaps another first world problem, but I am sick, so bear with me.)

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On the other hand, what could lift my spirits would be a mug of hot tea, and I don’t think I’d need to go at lengths to be able to find hundreds of quotes that would advocate for this. I miss the days when I had the time to wait for my tea to brew rather than just scalding my milk when I dump it in hurriedly now. I remember when I was ill last year Y would come along with her ginger and spices and saucepan and tell me that adding black pepper to chai (“it’s CHAI! Not Chai Tea  – Chai means tea! Have never understood this ‘Chai Tea Latte’ nonsense!”) would clear my chest and nose. There was so much more to just that mug of chai – it was those nights laughing so hard snoozers across the otherwise silent gardens would stir (sorry!), freezing nights pressed up on the radiator trying not to topple over on those three-legged stools, with warmth not only from that steaming mug of tea but from friends with the kindest hearts that took turns in surrounding each other.

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Yoanna’s Chai (I can almost hear her voice in my head reading out this recipe!)
for three cups of tea, because there should always be more than one mug around

1 stick cinnamon
1/2 inch of ginger
7-8 cardamom pods
2 cloves
1 assam tea bag
milk, as necessary

Brew the tea with the spices for a couple of minutes, until it boils. Let it simmer for 2-3 more minutes. Slowly pour in the milk, (about two or three circles of it around the saucepan,) and simmer until the desired colour is reached. Careful not to let the milk over boil and flood.

and thank you to for the Keep Calm and Drink Tea poster!

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postscript

“Fiction is like a spider’s web, attached ever so lightly perhaps, but still attached to life at all four corners.”

Virginia Woolf based “A Room of One’s Own” on her series of lectures at Newnham College, Cambridge. Be it the fairytale-like glean of this beautiful town that inspired her writing, her description aptly sums up those who are lucky enough to be living in that very piece of picturesque fiction. Every experience of life is so surreal – masked under the Cambridge bubble effect it’s even a separate world – and yet each piece of fiction would one day weave itself to become such an intricate part of life to look back on.

wading through

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