After spending the last couple of months engaged in negotiations for our Tea House it feels like we’ve finally made some progress. The lease is signed and waiting with our solicitor for the landlady to do some work and repair a storm drain which can leak from time to time in the basement during heavy rain.
Having got this far, and having pushed my trip to Asia back as long as I could, it was a relief to finally get to Taiwan. I love it here. I love the people, the culture, the food and of course I love the tea.
The downside of all this time spent in the negotiation of the lease is that I’ve had to cut my trip to Taiwan down to a week and have had to really prioritise my time here. It hasn’t been hectic, but my days have been filled. It’s only now that the weekend has arrived and businesses are shut that I really have some time to spend the day relaxing and doing nothing in particular.
Looking back on it though, I’ve had some beautiful days. On Thursday after a brief morning of busyness, I had a very relaxed lunch with my friend Jered in Wisteria, then without having to leave the building, had a lovely tea session with WuDe (Aaron), Master Tsai and then Zhou Yu.
I’ve long admired Zhou Yu. His humility, integrity and ability to maintain a beautiful but relatively busy tea house while being unswayed by monetary gains and keeping his personal internal path in sight are qualities that I very much admire. He had just returned from giving a talk about tea culture in Auroville (a place both I and WuDe had visited many years before), and had time to sit and chat about it for the time it took to slowly drink a couple great old teas.
He gave me some excellent advice for my tea house too & if we can create something with even a fraction of the qualities present in Wisteria, I will be very happy indeed.