December 16, 2012
Goodness, it’s been awhile. Not a long while, but it feels like it.
I haven’t had much to blog about, honestly. I’ve been drinking tea (though with not much enthusiasm), as always, but I haven’t felt the need to write about it, and I haven’t had anything to review, either. Hence the silence.
The topic of this post, though, has been inspired by recent events, namely the fact that it’s gotten fuckin’ cold here. Some of you who live in warmer climes will probably think that anything below, say 15C is cold, but I respectfully call you a wuss, since it’s been consistently -30C at night here with the windchill. The windchill makes all the difference; something about Manitoba winds sucks the warmth right out of your body and replaces it with a soul-crushing sense that you’ll never be warm again. It’s so cold that it literally hurts.
Now, I’m used to cold, I actually quite like it, but even I’m not stupid enough to go outside without bundling up like I’m heading to the North Pole, even if only to go get the mail out of the box at the end of the street (do you have those where you live? I hate them. Mail should come to the house, dammit!). Considering that last winter was so balmy it felt like cheating, this below-average winter is kind of nice. Climate change will rid ol’ Manitoba (and lots of other places) of the classic bitter winters sooner rather than later, so I’m gonna enjoy them while they last.
Ah, there’s that word. “Bitter”. People with a more old-fashioned vocabulary (like me) would describe the kind of cold we’re getting now as “bitterly cold”, and that’s about right. There’s lots of different kinds of cold, and right now we’re deep in the kind of cold that stings your skin and turns your bones to ice. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Same with tea. Tea is, for the most part, a bitter drink. Sure, oftentimes it is sweet or tart or whatever, but a hint of bitterness is pretty much always there. Too much is obviously terrible, but tea would seem flat without it. Lots of other beverages are plenty bitter, like beer (and most other alcoholic things) and coffee. Yet bitter is a taste we often avoid. It’s the most easily detectable of the basic tastes, and the one most likely to make you retch up your stomach contents. It’s not for nothing that a lot of toxic substances are bitter.
But we like it all the same, if the popularity of beer, coffee, and tea is anything to go be. Something about that good bitter edge keeps billions of tongues happily returning to cup after cup. Much like how, on cold clear winter day, I will stick my head out the door and feel the frosty bite of the wind and let my nerves know they still have a job to do.
PS: The unbelievably sad events of last week forced me to change what this blog entry was originally about, to its detriment, I think. But of course, my blog article being slightly worse is so insignificant compared to what has happened to those families that you’d need an electron microscope to spot it. My heart goes out to those affected.