Shanghai tea party vol.2
There is a carved wooden antique table at the foot of stairs. A group of
men who sit there are dangling cigaret on the corner of the mouth and whispering.
A young man comes by the table and get a bunch of bank note as if receiving
reward for something. In a moment, Potter and Wendy seem to give them the
The SLR man walking up the stairs which is covered red carpet following
the couple. Contrary to the chaotic first floor, the second is organized.
Even though, the atmosphere is not so bright for a tea shop which is shown
on the guide book.
Three women in cheongsam welcome us. Potter tells something to them. There
are three doors around the hallway. One of the women opens the door right
on side and invites us into the small room. In the room, there is a bench
and a small table. And tea-things is put on it. It looks like palm reader's
Once we sit on the bench seat, the woman in cheongsam smiles and gets start
telling about the manner of traditional Chinese tea ceremony. Wendy translates
it into Japanese for the SLR man, then Potter joins the conversation in
English. Ms. Cheongsam shows a rolled bamboo sheet to him. It's a carte
of tea. 'Oolong tea 60Yuan (10USD), Puer tea 60Yuan(10USD) ... Is this
for a cup of tea? I think it's expensive ... '
"Choose any from them"
Potter and Wendy give him no time. The SLR man is confused. He's invited
tea, shown the carte and asked for picking up some from dozens of different
Chinese tea names. Inevitably, he ask Ms. Cheongsam for organizing it.
Potter and Wendy is now sure this guy is locked on. Wendy slightly smiled
at the corner of her mouth.
Starting with a manner of tea ceremony, a medical effect of the tea, flavors
and even fortune telling thing was described. And the ceremony is going
on. For each tea in small tea cup which the SLR man takes, Potter and Wendy
add an explanation. The process is shrewd. Although the three enjoy the
tea party, all important decision is saddled on the SLR man who doesn't
know what's happen here in exact.
The ceremony is now an intermission. Ms. Cheongsam gets out from the room.
For the first time, the three talked over a tea. The SLR man introduces
himself he is a photographer. Then he passes them his business card. Wendy
says she wants see his photo works. Somehow the photographer brings a bunch
of prints with him, so gives it to her. Wendy and Potter see each print
with interest in the beginning. However gradually, flipping speed is getting
fast. Potter gives a yawn. Then they give him back the photo works with
simple comment "Good" The photographer has experienced it hundred
times with his sales promotion in Tokyo. It's a disappointed moment for
him. Anyway he change the subject.
"Hey, I got a wonderful tea ceremony. Wanna photograph this"
"One minute. I'll ask her if you can take picture here when she comes
Before long, Ms. Cheongsam comes back. Wendy asks her about photo. But her answer is "No! You cannot" 'It's weird. This is a kind of event for tourists, although no photo is permitted'
The photographer thinks. However he doesn't contradict for it.
"Now, this is the last tea. This tea is a little bit expensive. It depends on you. Want try it?"
Wendy translate her words into Japanese. Again the decision is on him.
If he orders it, the other two is also served. If he doesn't, we three
just give up the last tea of this traditional ceremony. So eventually,
the photographer is allured to say
" Cross section " Shanghai, China 2011