Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Green tea

My boss recently visited China. Nothing there except our investors, who recently put a bundle of money into our company because they got tired of buying soon-to-be-worthless American real estate. Anyhow, he brought back this little can full of leaves. There's only Chinese squiggles on the little can, not real writing (hmm, why can't those Chinese write everything in God's language, the language He wrote the Bible in, English?!). He says it is "green tea", and that I'm supposed to put some leaves on the bottom of a teacup, pour hot water over it, and let it seep for a while, then once the leaves all get sodden and sink to the bottom, drink the result.

The result smells like asparagus, and tastes like the water I pulled out of a mostly-dry creek that had been sitting on months-old half-rotted leaves for a long time. Is this really what the Chinese drink? Or is this, like sushi, yet another of those practical jokes that those inscrutable Orientals pull upon hapless Westerners? Curious penguins want to know!

- Badtux the Curious Penguin


  1. Based on several trips over 20 years, totaling 9-10 months, I'd say that sounds about right. Especially for the "good stuff". Give me the everyday green tea every time.

  2. Yes, my boss told me it was the "good stuff". Of course, he is American and doesn't understand Chinese, so I took the can to one of my co-workers who *is* Chinese, and asked him, "what is this?". He pointed at a Chinese character on the thing, and said "Tea."

    The stuff about God's language and sushi should have been a clue that the penguin was being snarky (heheh!).

    - Badtux the Green-tea-drinkin' Penguin
    (hey, can't eat herring 24 hours a day, y'know!)

  3. I would have thought you liked sushi; after all, it's raw fish wrapped in seaweed. Isn't that
    something that a penguin would like?

    By the way, you let tea leaves "steep", not "seep", well, unless you happen to be using a cracked cup.

    As for drinking water out of a mostly dry creek, isn't that how the tea was discovered? Or, do you believe that rumor about some tea leaves falling into the emporer's drinking water pot.

    As for the language the bible was written in, isn't that mostly Hebrew, which has some interesting characteristics (well, at least compared to English). If I remember correctly, Hebrew omits vowels, and isn't it written right to left (rather than the more conventional, to us, left to right)? Do we have any cunning linguists here?


  4. The earlier books of the Hebrew scriptures (the earliest parts of the "Old Testament") were written in Hebrew. By the time Jesus was born, Aramaic had largely displaced Hebrew as the language used for both literature (the books of Daniel and Ezra, and the Talmud, for example) and worship. Jesus probably spoke Aramaic. The Gospels were probably originally written in Aramaic then later translated into Greek. Later books of the New Testament, the ones aimed at a non-Jewish audience, were most probably originally written in Gree, which was the scholarly language of the Roman Empire by that time.

    As for sushi, it is fine for penguins, but it is fun watching gaijin (literally: "barbarians") choking down sushi at Japanese restaurants here where my iceberg is currently docked. They know they're supposed to like it because it's "cool" to like it, but they have a hard time avoiding puking. Thus my theory that sushi is an elaborate joke being played by the Japanese upon Westerners.

    - Badtux the Snarky Penguin


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