|As fresh as tea gets|
Ballet of TeaBefore allowing us to drink the tea she finished ritually cleaning all the tools, and the ceremony did not finish until she actually gathered up her belongings, bowed twice, and shut the screen door behind her. In the old samurai days, this would be when us men could begin to talk about important things. But today it was just me and a Japanese mother with her daughter. My samurai war discussions would have to wait. Then she came back in and told us to drink. But you can't just pick up the cup and drink. You have to hold it the right way, with the name of the cup facing outwards in order to show respect to the cup maker. This involves searching the cup for a little symbol that indicates the maker and turning the cup. Only then did I consume the contents.
Way of the Tea, something many times older than the age of my young country. I bowed to her and the other customers, ate my sweet, put on my shoes, and with fresh caffeine in my veins, headed out to buy a Katana!