Friday, December 17, 2010

Teatime Fairy Tale

Once upon a time there was a girl who grew up in a tea-obsessed home and (fairy) grandmother to blamed for it all! So when she packed her bags for Asia, one of the things on her to-do list was to attend a real Asian tea ceremony so that she could go back and make her (fairy) grandmother the perfect cup of tea...

...with dainty little Asian  tea cakes...

 Like fate wanted it, the opportunity arose and she had her tea ceremony BUT the Tea Wizard took a great liking in her and offered to teach her how to do tea ceremonies - of course she said yes!!! Every Friday she, and her sidekick David, would go to the Tea Wizard's tea shop in the back alleys of downtown Busan and in his attic the girl learned how to make tea just like a real Korean princess (except for the blue knees because unlike a Korean princess she wasn't used to sitting on her knees for a full two hours straight) until one day......

Well, what happened was that the Tea Obsessed Girl walked into the tea shop just like any other Friday BUT this Friday was different !! The Tea Wizard gave her a big, toothy grin when he told her about the Annual National Tea Ceremony Festival that was coming up in two weeks time. The wizard smiled even broader when he told the Tea Obsessed Girl that he bought her a beautiful Korean Ballgown (called a Hambok) specially for the occasion. The girl was flattered and kind of taken aback because she knew that a Hambok was made of real silk and very, very expensive. The Tea Obsessed Girl was also a little sad because she knew that she couldn't attend it due to the fact that it fell on a school day and she had to teach her little Korean (monkey) fairies. The Korean Wizard was very wise though and persistant so he swung his magic tongue and told David something in Korean and then it all made sense......the Tea Obsessed Girl would be able to go to the ceremony and wear her beautiful gown because she would actually participate in the ceremony and in front of hundreds of people, she would serve tea just like a Korean princess.

Wait!!!!! What??????

Well, this time the Tea Wizard waited for the girl to smile and smile she did ....a big, uncomfortable, shocked smile.....because she didn't know what to do otherwise. The Tea Obsessed Girl could hardly say no to this (nerve wrecking) experience, especially after the Tea Wizard bought her a silk Hambok ..but she was most certainly not a "natural" when it came to serving tea like a Korean princess - and the fact she was clumsy with hands much bigger than a real Korean princess's didn't make matters easier. What could she do? Saying "no" was a no-no!!! So she reluctantly agreed and immediately got whisked away by the wizard's wife to try on her new dress....

....and learn how to walk, talk and "bow" like a tea princess!

For two weeks the Tea Obsessed Girl practices her tea serving skills like crazy until she could do it perfectly (okay, maybe not perfectly but almost) and then the BIG DAY finally arrived.

Upon her arrival at the magical (Commodore Hotel) palace, she was once again whisked away to get all prettified and dressed up in her beautiful gown, complete with beautiful non-glass slippers.

Of course, like with every toad that becomes a princess, everybody oohed and aaahed at the Tea Obsessed Girl in her new dress and perhaps the fact that it was the first time that these Koreans ever saw a non-Korean in a Hambok had something to do with it. None the less, she felt like a princess and even more so when she was escorted to the dining hall to be wined and dined alongside the wizard and his wife, a Buddhist monk who would also be her photographer and the other guests of honour (who curiously sneaked a peak at her plate so see just what a non-Korean-toad-turned-princess ate for lunch) (She overindulged in smoked samon and capers if you wondered).

After lunch it was time to prove her  tealike princess-ness so with a few of the other ladies (who could have been her grandmother because apparently DADO isn't very popular among Korean youth) she did her tea ceremony. The Tea Obsessed Girl was very anxious, especially because they placed her right in the middle of the stage for everyone to view and all the spectators was so very curious to see if a Non-Korean-Toad-Turned-Princess could serve tea. But she did okay....well, for most part of it ....and didn't even choke when the audience giggled as she began to drink her tea (don't ask why, I don't know either). Anyway, afterwards she got a loud applaud and mumbles of praise in Korean (which she couldnt understand but appreciated it all the same)

BUT then the real magic happened!!!!!

Everybody having way more green tea than should be allowed, was ready to party! A bit naive, the Tea Obsessed Girl didn't know this so you can just imagine her surprise when all the tea trays got removed from stage to make way for a ........ROCK BAND!!!

From the first note of "Unchain my heart" all tradition and prim-and-proper tea manners were forgotten and the old folks in their hamboks started dancing like there was no tomorrow..... and soon the Tea Obsessed Girl was pushed into this marsh pit of rocking Ajimas!!!! So they danced and danced and rocked to the music!!! But this was not the end of it all. When the rock band got a bit breathless from the crazy amount of singing, the Karaoke began and to the Tea Obsessed Girl's utter surprise the Buddhist Monk took of his modest Buddhist jacket (to reveal a Lacoste Cardigan - in Korea everybody is fashionable, even the monks it seems) and descended the stage to sing the soppiest Korean love song imaginable.

To add to this, the Korean Tea Ladies went completely crazy for him and screamed for an ancore!!!! The Tea Obsessed Girl did find this a bit strange seeing that Buddhist monks are supposed to be above worldly matters and she didn't know that love songs was allowed in monasteries, being chase and all......but she had to admit, he was a pretty good love-song-singer (and photographer).

Much to soon, to the Tea Obsessed Girl's sadness, the clock struck four and it was time for the magic to end ...and for the Hambok-wearing-Toad- turned-Princess to turn in a Foreign Toad again. But as she was saying goodbye, the Tea Obsessed Gil was given a beautiful porcelain jar filled with magical Green Tea  by an Adjima Queen so that the girl could have Green Tea magic whenever she felt like it again.

Then a pumpkin colored taxi came to pick her up and take her back to her tiny little apartment.

On the way though, she saw a fox riding a scooter (okay, maybe not a real fox but a guy who wore a beanie that looked like a fox) who, as he passed her, winked......and the Tea Obsessed Toad-turned-Princess knew for sure that Fairy tales definitely do come true!



Jill said...

I love it!!!! Good job Tuchie!

ansie said...

This needs to go into a magazine, excellent writing!!!!

Isabeau said...

I agree with Ansie, this is excellent! Baie geluk Truch!