27 September 2013

Goodbye Tours–Tea Lady

One of my all time favorite things to do in our city was go to the tea lady.

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Tea ladies have their little stands all over the city. Street corners. City parks (if you can call them that). Bus stations. Small alleys. Everywhere. They are surrounded by stools and small tables.

Women did not traditionally drink tea with a tea lady. But I often did. I couldn’t have achieved ‘traditional’ lady no matter how hard I tried. If I did go drink tea by myself, with out my husband, I did make a point to sit near the tea lady and chit chat a little with her and not the other men sitting around.

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Over our years there, the re-bar and string stools were slowly replaced with plastic chairs… which I hated, by the way! I loved sitting on a low stool sipping tea. Plastic chair was just not the same. But times were a’changin’ and what could I do about it?

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If you went during the right morning or evening hours the ladies may also be preparing ‘zalabiyya’.  This day the children got a front row view.

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Basically deep fried donuts with sugar on top.

Basically yum.

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And tea was served. Chai with nana (mint) for Mikey and I. Caffeine-free hibiscus tea for the children.

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This particular morning we knew was going to be our last visit to the tea lady. I was sad.

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But Sweet N was carrying with her usual business of dirt digging and rock collecting

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With a little donut eating in between…

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Goodbye tea lady.

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