Sometimes you don‘t know how to name a tea correctly, in local terms. And sometimes the foreign world just knows how to name you accurately.
In my work, I often find myself around local staff women. I sniff their everyday. I watch – how they bring local delicacies, how they whisper and rustle the treats from the tiny plastic bags. How they eat together and share their knowledge of various different herbs. And how they enchant life in many other ways.
Life is everything that has ever really interested me, high in the heavens of mind or just right here, under the nails of the everyday.
Women do not always dare to offer exotic local treats to foreign volunteers. But my curiosity has already been caught by their sharp eyes. Do you want it? – in such a case, this question is often omitted. I get a generous spoonful straight to my mouth – the same spoon, which had just been touching their own lips. The excess of food, left on my greedy cheeks, is greeted by laughter. I slip into the mind-blowing combination of an alien culture and a feeling of a real home.
Recently, they have started inviting me to cook those treats together – teaching me the local secrets. You will make this at home and will give it to your mother – they affix this sacred seal, and the simple action acquires the scent of the ritual.
I slip into the mind-blowing combination of an alien culture and a feeling of a true home.
Today their plastic bags are filled with a mix of herbal teas.
– Vicky, do you want this? – asks one of them.
– Just give it to her. She wants everything, I know it, – jumps in another one – an Arab Christian. One-third of our conversations are in English, two thirds – in Hebrew.
The One Who Knows It looks straight into my eyes.
– I finally understand you.
– I understand you. You are always full of energy, you are crazy and kindhearted at the same time. But more than anything, you love life. Right?
Our smiles fill in with thick, warm silence.
– Thank you.
I feel the steam of the freshly brewed herbal tea – the cup is already in my hands.