One of my close friend’s invited me for dinner on the weekend. Knowing how much she enjoys tea, I decided to go to Loblaws to get some special tea for her. There is a Loblaws close to my work that has an amazing selection of exotic tea from The Tea Emporium. Oh man, do I love this department! I always feel special when I go browsing there.
Today there were many things to look at: teapots in knit warmers, Japanese-style cups, pretty little containers with nice design, tea sets in nice wooden boxes tied with ribbons, bottles with filters, and so many other things, you name it – they’ve got it!
There was a tall stand behind the counter with numerous large jars filled with fancy teas. The choices could be a bit confusing and overwhelming for some people and paradise for others.
I looked at the counter and saw a black board with chalk text that read “Green Moroccan tea.” There was a little glass teapot on a metal stand with a tea-candle under it to keep it warm. I have a tea-pot just like that at home and thought it would be wonderful to have such a stand when I have guests. Unfortunately it was not for sale.
But, there was fresh green Moroccan tea for customers to taste. I was curious and took a little plastic shot glass. The tea had a settled mild taste and nice exotic flavor. I liked it so much and instantly wanted to get it for my friend. The only problem was that because it was green tea there was caffeine in it. My friend happens to be allergic to caffeine so I had to choose another one.
The sales-person was very friendly and gave me a list of the most popular drinks, some of which had no caffeine. “I like African Queen,” – I said and imagined my friend’s reaction if I were to present her with this particular tea. The sales person agreed that was a very good tea and showed me a jar with many colored loose leaves. It was certainly to my taste.
While she weighed and packed the tea, I took the time to look around at some of the other items around that suddenly looked like good ideas for Christmas gifts for tea lovers. I started to add more items. I have to confess that I usually don’t like Christmas shopping, I don’t like how busy all of the shops get and so I like to get my presents ahead of time. Usually if I see things like I buy many for several people.
That was how I started my small talk with a salesperson. She asked me what was my favourite tea, I had no answer.
“Well,”- I said with a smile, “I’m the kind of person who tends to buy things for others and only at the end for myself, especially because I have two little kids.” She smiled, thinking that I am generous person. So to correct this illusion I added that my major weak moments come when I stop by art store. I never leave the store without getting something.
I told her that I enjoy making art and that I hope to eventually open an art store.
“What kind of store?” -she asked. I explained that it is going to be an online store. “I work in IT full time and create art on the side.” I was surprised to learn that she also has a store and also likes to do some creative work after her main work. That was the beginning of our little conversation. I learnt that her name was Kiyo and she was from Japan. She likes to cook and do crafts and has a web site that focuses on making organic meals. I was very excited and gave her my business card. Kiyo told me she didn’t have any business cards, which made me want to talk to her about her business, the vision of it and her talents, but I felt that it was impossible within my limited time while she was gracefully packing multiple bags for me with all my fancy presents for my friends.
At the end she grabbed a piece of paper and wrote the name of her web site for me, which I want to share with you. I felt like it was a usual day for me until that moment when suddenly I recognized the same type of spirit in person who tries something new and does what is doing what she loves. I felt we have so much in common but was afraid to scare her with my enthusiasm!
I looked at the web site when I got back to my office and was impressed by Kiyo’s talents. I want to meet her again, have tea together and share our dreams. It is so important to support each other with any creative endeavors.