Time for tea

Some of you have reached out to me after my barako pos ofering to give me coffee. I’m super touched that I have such selfless friends (coffee is like gold, people), but I’ve declined the offers for now. This is why.

I believe that sometimes, the best way to make the most out of a situation that isn’t ideal is to turn it into a game.

One of the ‘games’ I have been playing this quarantine period is ‘finish all the tea.’

I have a lot of tea-more than I can drink. This is partly because I like tea, and partly because before I started drinking coffee, I loved tea.

In high school, I used to take a thermos of milky Earl Grey to school to enjoy during lunch. Sometimes, I shared it with a friend who was a Trekkie because of Captain Picard’s famous line, “Earl Grey, hot.”

My Mom’s friends thought it was adorable that her daughter liked non-Chinese tea, so they’d give my mom all the hotel tea from their trips. They also thought it was adorable that I like weird cheese, so sometimes, I’d get those, too. Thank you, Aunties!

So it became a thing. My Mom always got tea from hotels, or tea in cans, or tea in boxes, and she’d pass them on to me, something that I’m always grateful for.

But since I drink coffee more than tea now, and since I can only take a limited amount of caffeine (curse you, mortal body), I have to go through a lot of tea.

So I’ve incorporated this into my quarantine existence: finish as much tea as I can. It’s a tiny, mundane thing, but it’s also a task with a goal, and during times like this, anything that makes you feel like you can attain something, that you’re in control, makes things bearable, sometimes even enjoyable.

We’re not in an ideal situation right now and everyone is scared, me included. Sometimes, the best we can do to help the world and ourselves is try to stay mentally and physically healthy in our own spaces, and if turning weird things into harmless games will help keep us sane (not to mention inside), then why not go for it?


Yvette Tan is a multi-awarded author of horror fiction and a lifestyle writer for major local and international titles.