The art of don’t go there

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The Japanese tea ceremony. You can love it you can hate it. But in many aspects it reflects life in the bigger world. Including rules of where not to go. (and of course our tendency to break those rules, like our parents ignored the signs on our doors or that restaurant named “Verboden toegang” ;) ). Now, we are all familiar with rules of don’t go there. Don’t go into this street, don’t enter this radioactive room etc. Some of us know about the rules in a Japanese tea garden about where not to go. The Tea master prepared a route through the garden to the teahouse. Roads that should not be taken are marked by stones with a rope. And although these stones and ropes were chosen and placed to create an aesthetically Wabi Sabi image. According to my source this has not lead to a “Thou shall not pass”-art of its own, although I would not be surprised if it actually did, but they did not know about it. So leave it to a bunch of Europeans to create an art of don’t go there and of course an exhibition.

Variation of normal Dutch keep out sign (from website <a href="">restaurant</a>
Variation of normal Dutch keep out sign (from website restaurant)

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Chengdu teahouses: a place to get your ears picked

Chinese teahouses give a lot of tea lovers a romantic feeling. It is a good place to drink tea, see a nice opera, have a nice discussion, have group meetings, settle disagreements, get a pedicure, get your earwax picked, have a good fight one on one or group against group, end someones life, find a lady for a moment or as headquarters for your gangster inc. So, lets zoom in on the teahouses in the city Chengdu the capital of the once independent region Sichuan.

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Tea skyscrapers

Tea sets come in various forms. Designs change over time. Some changes are gradually, others by design. Modern tea ware is not rarely designed by people that have experience in designing tea ware. But what would happen if tea ware was designed by people that usually not design tea ware, but for example skyscrapers? What would those used to design the large do when then design a humble teapot?

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A Short Tea Trade

The Dutch, the English, the French, the Portuguese, the Spanish and from a certain time onwards the Americans all traded with China over sea in the 18th century. I probably missed a few of the smaller traders. The one I missed on purpose is the one this post is about: Austria. Yes, that country closed in by other countries and having only access to a lake and not to a sea or an ocean. So how could they have a blooming trade with China?

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Tea in Hamburg 4: A walk among Blomen and Asia

Another day, another walk. Tea in flask and of we go.


Hamburg from the Binnenalster
Hamburg from the Binnenalster

Besides the river Elbe Hamburg also has two lakes to make the city a bit watery. The Binnenalster and the Außenalster are artificial lakes around which the city expanded.

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Tea and Sensibilitea

There are many famous people I would love to have tea with. Plato, the Doctor in all his incarnations and with Amy, Sherlock Holmes, even though I would probably be pointed out things about myself that I do not want to know, Newton with Apple pie, Lipton to show him what his legacy has become, Thomas Sullivan to show him the nightmare he caused, Virginia Woolf to get a stream of thoughts, Kaldi to teach him that tea is better than coffee and that he should not listen to his goats, O.B. Bommel if you understand what I mean, Shifu to give him a moments rest from teaching Po, Peter Parker to see if caffeine really has that effect on spiderwebs, Neil Armstrong on the Moon, Victor Hugo to relieve the Miserables and of course many, many, many more.

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Tea in Stockholm 2: Oh deer

As I said before in a previous post: What better way to unwind from a great but energy consuming gathering than a long walk. So tea in flask and out I went. From my hotel I just have to cross the street to reach the fields of Ladugårdsgärde so that is where I start.

Gärdet and an excercise field in front. As good a place to start as any.

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