It’s that little tea shop after a short steep climb then around the corner somewhere between Ghyaru and Nawal. We didn’t expect a lovely table with a flower arrangement. The trek from Upper Pisang onward was breathtaking. It felt like the heavens opened up and we were entering Shangrila. My body weakened and the adrenalin rush took over as I stared at the giant Annapurna IV right in my face. I don’t know whether to get teary eyed from emotions. Once again, the high mountains claimed my soul.
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An elderly man and woman took our masala tea order. Their faces revealed mountain life. Leathery skin, dark and hard faces that reminded me of the harsh conditions living in the high mountains. These people are seriously strong and hard working. I saw the elderly woman boiling some water to the point where it’s almost overflowing. She poured over the tea and we headed to the nice table right on the edge of the corner facing a magnificent view. The elderly man walked towards us with two cups of the masala tea we ordered. These cups were simple coffee cups that can be found in local markets and it’s printed with hearts with two little cute figures. It’s not what we drink out of that matters, it’s what’s in the tea.
I looked at the masala tea and immediately smelled a strong cinnamon scent coming from the layer of spice sprinkled on top of the masala tea. It made me look at Doug with skepticism about the tea. It doesn’t look right, as if I knew much about tea. I really don’t except that I’ve had over hundreds for masala tea over the last four years and it’s my favorite tea. Did they forget to mix up the spice? I took a small sip of the masala tea…
That sip of masala tea changed a part of me forever.
I really didn’t want the beautiful spice aroma smell nor the sweet tasting tea to end in that split second. That first sip blew me away into Shangrila. I took another sip, then another until my soul was lifted up to the high mountains around me. It was THAT good!
That is the best masala tea I have ever had in my fucking life!
It was now half empty and with the cool breeze blowing, my tea was also losing it’s warmth. This can’t end. I don’t want to get another cup. It won’t be the same. I finished off what’s left of the masala tea and licked off the spice around the rim of the cup, savoring every single moment. We left that tea shop changed. That experience cannot be matched or replaced. It’s one special experience forever. There’s only just that one time.
Life is like a cup of tea. The best ones come from very unexpected places.