i’m feeling nostalgic and sentimental right now… excuse me as i ramble. but i need to.
… over the last couple of weeks my new career has begun, life has become exciting and busy. the feeling of JOY has wrapped her arms around me like a soft fleece blanket… waking up has been a nice experience, i really can’t complain.
yet i have felt myself feeling rather nostalgic and yearning for pieces from my childhood… tastes, smells, sounds.
like, milk tea.
milk tea reminds me of my great grandmother. i called her, “PoPo” which is mandarin for grandmother on mom’s side, but everyone called her PoPo, so i just called her this, too.
she was not technically my PoPo, she was my “tai po po” but i liked calling her the same as everyone else… friends, family members, neighbors, the restaurant owners. everyone called her PoPo. so that is the name i used and it stuck. with loving glue…
PoPo was my caretaker ever since my birth; she was a second mother to me while my mother worked hard to feed us and make a nice life. PoPo was also my best friend, partner in crime, teacher, mentor, storyteller… she was a comedian! and the best story teller i’ve ever known. she told scary ghost tales in Mandarin that would send shivers up my spine, but i’d ask for more milk tea to soothe myself, then i’d ask her to tell me another ghost story. she loved it, i loved it.
she told me stories of her life over many cups of milk tea…
what is milk tea anyway? good question.
i’ll explain it from my perspective, no sense in using wikipedia but feel free to google.
anyhow, let me tell you what milk tea is because it is symbol in my life and means many things to many people…..
so, milk tea. it’s a Hong Kong thing. basically, Hong Kong was a British colony, so the locals adopted some traditions. like MILK TEA! it’s just black tea with milk, sugar optional.
even though my Chinese roots are from northern china, my mom grew up in Hong Kong and PoPo lived there along with my grandmother, naturally. PoPo took care of my mother, aunt, and uncle as well. she took care of many generations and made countless cups of milk tea!
the way we had milk tea was special – in Hong Kong they use evaporated milk. and LOTS of sugar. they use evaporated milk in everything! even coffee.
Milk Tea for me was like this: strong black tea, like PG Tips, then add lots of evaporated whole milk, then add lots of sugar.
then drink and enjoy and feel all cozy inside.
it’s also enjoyed with saltines sometimes, we would let the salty crackers get soft in the tea then eat them up. such a sweet and salty treat. HEAVEN.
i’m thinking about milk tea because i miss PoPo and her banter, her humor, her fearlessness, her energy. i miss her company.
milk tea reminds me of her and brings back such good memories. i don’t drink milk tea anymore, but i really want to. i think i need to, it’s comforting for me like i can’t even explain.
yes, i realize that a food or beverage can’t bring back the dead. i get that part.
but i loved milk tea all my child years and the taste is soothing for me.
since my life is rapidly turning into my dream life come true, i will have a cup of milk tea.
to honor and celebrate my dear PoPo and say thank you.
Thank you PoPo for getting me, right now, I love you.