As I stopped off in Hong Kong enroute to Taiwan, I called by my friend’s house to take some things from the bags I’d left there on my way to Kunming and leave some things I don’t require for my next few weeks in Taiwan.

My friends weren’t answering their phone, so I called around anyway. After about half an hour of knocking periodically at the door, thinking that they were still asleep, my knocks grew louder. With one particularly heavy knock the door swung open – it hadn’t been locked.

I entered to find the place in a mess – the plaster was falling from the ceiling, water was dripping everywhere, their stuff was mostly packed up, moved out or inside plastic bags. Judging from the mouldy smell the place had been like that for a couple of weeks.

I quickly located my stuff, still dry in a cupboard, but the 2 small bings now have a strange smell. My ’58 Guanyungong bing is still sealed in it’s box and plastic, but I’m afraid to unwrap it.

I quickly stowed it in my bag and got it out of there as soon as possible. Now it’s coming to Taiwan with me where I’ll have a chance to check it for sure. I’m hoping it’s OK. I have the fear that this is a bit more than ‘Traditional Hong-Kong wet storage’.

Some further detective work has revealed my friends are in Australia on a trip, apologising that their flat had been ‘attacked by water’ just before they left.

I’m sure there’s a lesson here somewhere, but I’m still trying to figure it out. Maybe it’s ‘Don’t trust anyone with your Guanyungong’. From now on, it comes everywhere with me!

More tea adventures to follow from Taiwan for the next few weeks… stay tuned

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