After eight hours on a plane and two jostling in a taxi to central London, I finally arrived at my hotel. I had not slept one minute on my flight, nor had I ate or drank anything since the small ration of yogurt I received before landing. It was around ten in the morning (five A.M. Florida time), so my room was not yet ready. However, the kind concierge asked, “would you like some tea?” I said, yes. He then showed me into the library by a warm fire. A few minutes later, he brought my tea, and I settled in. It certainly was a warm welcome and a great way to be introduced to England.
I have been in London a week, and I have had tea every day. I have had afternoon tea, high tea, black tea, green tea, peppermint tea, chamomile tea, chai tea, and lavender tea. I have drunk tea in Russell Square, the British Museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum, Covent Gardens, the Royal Opera House, Paddington station, and Kentish Town (a borough of London), where I will be staying for the next five weeks.
I have always loved tea and have also always preferred it over coffee. So, it seems as if I am in the right place. Tea is more than a warm drink, however. Tea has been a means for me to experience new places and to savor the moment. Just the other day, I walked into Kentish Town to get a cup at a café. I sat outside and struck up a conversation with a resident. In Covent Gardens, I had tea while listening to a live performer sing opera. When I was feeling homesick, I made myself a cup and felt a little better. It has helped me adjust to this new place with its unique customs and culture. London is such a vast, dynamic, and vibrant city. I know there are so many more places, and teas, for me to explore.