A nations’ toast, several towns have museums for it. No prize for guessing Russia’s famous tipple.
A close second is …………………………………………………………TEA.
A country of tea drinkers, a lot of ceremony, drama & melodrama goes into the making & having of it.
Witness this parody:(courtesy ‘Lev Tolstoy’)
A family gathers around the tea table, at the center of which is a samovar. Practically every household has one. A prized possession, its importance can be gauged from the fact that the government has banned taking it out of the country, if it is antique.
The lacy, hand embroidered linen & china is family heirloom too.
Notice the festive layout. The two young girls, impatient to be served. And to the assortment of goodies – delicious Russian cakes & pies. It must be cold outside.
Tea is taken as tea, without the aid of additives. You may want a sugar cube but dip it in the brew before putting it into the mouth. Absorb the taste, let it linger & sip your tea thereafter. That is common practice. Drinking off a saucer is not taboo Nor is it bad manners. Just remember not to slurp.
Anatole comes home after a long day at work & is welcomed with a steaming hot cup. Pure bliss! “That feels good”.
But what if he’s had a bad day, returns in a foul mood & feels like flinging the cup across the floor?
His wife may be hapless but she is clever too. “Wait. Wait,” she says, “I’ll be right back. In a minute.” And off she goes…….
To return with a stiff one, poured straight from the bottle onto the gentle brew.
And offered to him with a smile.
All’s well. Naturally.
And Anatole can eat humble pie.