Monday 6 September 2010

A brush with a tea caddy - or, there's no use crying over spilt tea.

I was running very low on tea at the weekend, having almost finished all my nice stuff - down to my last pot  of Jasmine and last couple of Earl Grey tea bags. So I thought I had better stock up with some of the local stuff. Being in India does not mean getting nice tea. I suppose it is all exported  to earn vital foreign exchange. So in practice tea means a choice between Dust Tea ( yes that's what it is called) and Leaf Tea, which in my opinion is still tea dust. And of course it is all loose, no tea bags. So I bought my packet of Taj Mahal Tea and duly opened and emptied it into the canister. That was yesterday.
Now comes lunch time today and I go to make tea. I lift the tea caddy from the shelf and away it flies, I am left holding the lid in my hand with tea all over the kitchen floor. No big deal I hear you say, it is dry, the floor is marble, all is well just get the dust pan and brush and sweep it all up and into the waste bin.  Well yes it is dry, but wrong on all  other counts. Ok you know already there is no such thing as waste bins and waste disposal here. It is over the wall onto the pile for the  cows and goats to rummage through. But how to get it there? Therein lies the difficulty. P9060007
When I first moved in I bought a dustpan along with a pile of other household items. Upon unpacking at home I discovered it is missing its brush. No I am told by the shopkeeper, there is no brush. I need a brush I say, he duly obliges and a brush is produced. No I have one of those , I want a small brush. No, no small brush. That was now several months ago and I am still looking for a small brush. Since then I have actually seen a woman sweeping up something into a dustpan with one of these grass or stick brushes that every respecting Indian housewife has. Here's mine, a grass one, about 3 feet in length , complete with Barbie Pink DayGlow Handle - makes you think about dressing up on a long cloak and flying off. And I have just about as much chance of doing that as of using it to usher dust and debris into the dustpan. There is no directional control. Dust redistribution, yes: dust collection, no way! 
So as regards the spilt tea, I manage to get much of the tea dust into the pan and then it is down on hands and knees, wet cloth in hand in an attempt to wipe the rest of it up.  I then start the whole tea making process  over again, half a packet of tea lost to the field mice. Thank goodness it was only dust tea and not my beloved Jasmine. I'll be trampling on tea particles now for days each time thinking what I wouldn't give for a decent brush and a decent cuppa!


  1. Just caught up with this blog, I'm a bit behind the times. I also had trouble finding a brush to go with my dustpan and ended up buying a wide paintbrush, the sort you'd slap emulsion onto walls with at home. It did the job very well

  2. Yes I do recall your paint brush. I must add it to the shopping list. I noticed a sort of hardware shop at the far end of the main market road which had lots of large ironmongery type things, ropes etc, may be that would be the place to try.