Tea cup Coffee Pot

When I was younger, I loved tea. I loved tea so much that I used to go to Takashimaya to smell the tea in the big red cans that they used to sell tea from. I haven't been back since 1995, when I started my own little company, Zephyhdom. Now I don't think they even have that level which they sell loads of things that were great to look at, but people probably never bought.

I used to bring the guys I fancied to that same level, to sniff tea with me. It was a kind of test, to see if they will share the same facination and curiousity about the world as I did. There was one guy, whoose name I only remember as Zhiqiang, who did share the same passion of life and fantasy.

We used to have little dates, on which he as well as I were too shy to really talk to each other properly, too shy to look at each other sometimes, and definitely too shy to even hold hands. It was a wonderfully cheap date, because we would meet at Takashimaya, go up to the fifth floor, look for the neat rows of red cans storing tea labelled as "Orange", "Lychee", "Peppermint", "Camomile", "Lemon", etc. Once there, we will take turns selecting a can and wonder where and sometimes even who might drink this tea. Then we will talk about all the possibilities connected to the tea and end the date at Coffee Club, where we would have one cup of freshly brewed coffee with biscotti. This would repeat itself after three or four months, when they had new batches of tea with even more exotic names.

Life's little luxuries were everything we had wanted, and more.

Everytime I get a little jaded with life, I would call up this little morsel of memory, and remember how I prided myself on still being innocent of life's mysteries and sordidness at sixteen. This little slice of my old life, as I come to view it, would remind me that the world is how and what you make of it, and to stay positive, as life is not so cynical that idealism and innocence is no longer valued.

Zhiqiang and I once held hands, after visiting and touching the graves at Fort Canning, when I nearly rolled down the small hill and onto the road below. He had my hand for what seems like the longest of times, even though it was probably 5 seconds or so. After which, our friendship seemed to have grown awkward, and we stopped the little dates that we would have, once in three or four months. How young I was, how different it will be now.

Zhiqiang was really cool, cute and charming when I was in school. I met him again about eight years ago, and he grew plumb, mercenary and ...

Dull.

I wish I didn't meet him again sometimes, as I will never remember him as the dashing, romantic character in my memory, but the short, (I must have grown taller) number crunching bank officer he is or rather, was when I met him that one time on the streets. Reality can sometimes be so cruel to your otherwise pristine memories...

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