Alright so I have no business going in there in the first place because I know how to combine my own herbs which I can purchase in bulk at very low cost into mixtures that satisfy my various desires. But T2 has a wide range of tea-straining devices, and you think, ‘how bad can it be, it’s a tea shop’, but it’s really that bad.
Upon entry I was offered some tea from one of several plastic jugs which sat upon light boxes so as to emphasize their state-of-the-art design. I declined, remarking that I was just looking for a teacup, which was also true, though that was only part of the mission I undertook when I walked through their doors. The ‘sales assistant’, whose appearance I cannot describe as I could not bring myself to look at her long enough to retain a mental image, pointed in the direction she was walking and told me that if I’m looking for teacups, these are good teacups. She did not know why they were good teacups, but she did know that they were in front of her and they were teacups, and so they must be good ones, ones that you could recommend to someone without even having to ask what exactly they were looking for in a teacup. These teacups are good for everyone.
As it turned out there was nothing about these particular teacups which appealed to me, nor was there anything about any of the other teacups there which appealed to me. And so I carried out the other half of my task in T2. I procured two mesh globe tea strainers, one for me and one for a friend, and presented them to the girl at the counter whose face I do not remember. (I do recall sensing, however, that a hair straightener had been in the vicinity of her head over the last five hours. It’s just something you can feel about a person.)
‘Tea strainers!’ she remarked, amazed at my power of selection. I made no response. None was needed – she had already figured it all out.
‘Good for…brewing some tea’, she continued, and I nodded in agreement. I wondered if they were trained to talk you through your purchase. I hoped she would stop soon.
‘No tea to go with that today?’ she asked, as though perhaps I hadn’t noticed the wall displays stocked generously with little cubes of boxed & bagged teas (the packaging isn’t that good for the earth, but it keeps your tea like, really fresh, until you open it). It was as though she was saddened by the image of me with my steaming mug of hot water and an empty globe mesh tea-strainer, having overlooked such an important variable in the production of a cup of tea.
‘No, thank you’.
‘You already have plenty at home, right? Heaps.’
‘Sooooooo did you want a little bag for carrying those?’
‘No, I think I can manage these just fine, thanks.’
‘Ok have a greaaat day, yeah?’
I have learned my lesson.