Would You Like Some Tea?


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Asia » China » Jiangsu » Suzhou
November 27th 2006
Published: November 27th 2006
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After the gardens we left to go to a tea village. A very cute girl named Nancy was our guide for this one. She showed us a man who was drying tea leaves in a metal pan by stirring with his hand. He had to spend several hours a day doing this and had to use his hand so he knows the temperature. We were then led into a room (that's where they get you) to observe the different kinds of tea. There are three kinds of the green tea: the tea picked in spring, the tea picked in summer, and the tea picked in fall. Of course, the spring tea was the freshest looking. We learned the traditional sign languages for tea.
"Three taps on the table means 'I' (tap), 'love' (tap), 'you' (tap)" Nancy said with a cute giggle.

We drank the tea. It tasted a lot like hot water steaming with plant leaves.

"Women drink green tea to stay thin, to prevent wrinkles, and keep their youth. When you are done drinking the tea, you can mix the leaves with honey and make a face mask that takes away wrinkles and gives you bright, glowing skin."
Nancy said while flashing us a cute smile.

"All of my family works to grow the tea. Everyone in the village drinks this tea. It is very good for health." (Everything is good for health in China.)

The cute Nancy showed us how to pack the tea. She overfilled the box, banged it against the table, overfilled it again, and shoved the cap on. "I'm careful not to break the tea leaves." She cutely said.

"This tea is in a yellow box. It is reserved for royalty and emperors."

Jack Garrett makes a joking remark and Nancy laughs and giggles.

"This tea can be packed in this box and one sells for 500 yuan." She quickly shows us the tea basket and says, "Look how much is left, I overfilled it." Giggle. She proceeds to give us prices and value packs with her cute smile. "You can buy four boxes of the emperor's tea and we give you two babies." She giggles as she adds two small boxes to the tea box pile. No one speaks.
"Or", she seperates the pile into two with both of her hands, "we can make a small family; Papa, Mama, and baby." She stands up straight, folds her hands, and beams a cute smile. Kaffy and I were seriously debating with ourselves over buying a small family for 125 dollars. She was just so cute!

And then she showed us a special flower tea. It is a flower bud that you drop into hot water. Then it blooms along the bottom of the glass. "These are often used at weddings. The flower blooming represents the blooming of new love." The cute girl said. "150 yuan".

Luckily for Kaffy and I, we had some takers on the small family. So we didn't feel so bad leaving the room without buying anything. The only reason I would be interested in the tea would be to burn it. The "No burn, No buy" sales girl got me on a burning kick. "No burn No buy! No burn No buy!"

And guess what was waiting for us as we left? More silk! and more food! and more rolexes! and more chinese art! and more chinese antiques! and more books! and more louis vuitton purses! Now that is China.

Then we went to a river city at night. It was really pretty, like a Christmas light display. Our guide explained more than once how she wanted us to see the river city at night. Of course, there were more vendors. One guy kept bothering me to buy a necklace or keychain with my name written on rice. However, I have to admit, I am a great bargainer. ha ha ha It's fun to bargain with vendors in Chinese when they go along with it. Our guide came over and found that I could speak a little Chinese but I think she got the impression that I know more than I really do. I'm good at pretending too. I did walk away from my "pengyou" with a keychain though.


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