By A.C. Cargill
Smoky Oolong tea isn’t the only thing I relish at a Chinese restaurant. At the end of the meal come the fortune cookies. They used to have actual fortunes like “Your present plans will succeed.” You know, the sort of standard positives that fortune tellers tell you while hunched over the crystal ball or the palm of your hand. These days, though, the fortunes take on more of a “Poor Richard’s Almanac” quality, with well-worn but still inspirational homilies.
What a great tea moment, sitting in the restaurant, brightly decorated with “happy” Chinese colors like red and yellow, letting kung pao chicken, coconut shrimp, steamed pork dumplings, and beef with broccoli start the long road to digestion while you sip that Oolong from handleless teacups. Then, you and your family and friends crack open your fortune cookies, reading them aloud to see which is the best, the silliest, the sweetest, etc.
Some of my favorite fortune cookie sayings and a few actual fortunes (exactly as they are written with no corrections of spelling, grammar, etc., but in no particular order) and what they mean for tea drinkers:
“Be brave enough to live creatively.” — Try new teas and new ways to enjoy them.
“Courtesy is a business asset — a gain and never a loss.” — Your customers buying tea are a treasure to value. The nicer you are to them, the more often they’ll come back to buy more tea.
“What we acquire without sweat we give away without regret.” — Fix your own tea. You’ll savor every drop.
“You will lighten another’s heart.” — Have a friend over for a special tea time.
“You will take a pleasant journey to a place far away.” — Sounds like a trip to another country to visit a tearoom, tea shop, or maybe even a tea plantation, is in your future.
“They fail, and they alone, who have not striven.” — If you don’t heat some water, you don’t get any tea.
“Do not underestimate yourself. Human beings have unlimited potentials.” — You can learn more about tea and enjoy it more fully.
“If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.” — I had three muffins at tea time — no, six — okay, it was seven!
“Happiness is not a reward, it’s a consequence.” — You buy good tea, you get a great cuppa.
“Success is failure turned inside out.” — Turning dried tea leaves into a pot of tasty tea is a triumph of mind over plant matter.
“You’ll accomplish more if you start now.” — Put water in the tea kettle, set it on the stove, and turn the burner on NOW!
“A smile is your passport into the hearts of others.” — A happy tea time with friends brings you all closer.
“A part of us remains wherever we have been.” — The warmth of your smile stays in the heart and mind of your tea time friends.
“Good things are being said about you.” — Especially about the wonderful tea party you gave.
“Don’t be fooled by first impressions.” — Your first sip of tea isn’t necessarily the best. Keep sipping to get a true idea of the tea’s qualities.
“Don’t repay a kindness, pass it on.” — If a friend has you over for tea, have a tea party for other friends, then they’ll have other friends to a tea party, and so on.
“A new friend helps you break out of an old routine.” — Try a new tea today!
“There are many paths to the top of the mountain, but only one view.” — Climb a mountain and view the verdant tea fields bright with the first flush (new leaves ready for the first harvest of the season).
“Happiness is a state of mind.” — A cuppa tea, your sweetheart’s hand to hold, a quiet moment together. All these combine for perfect bliss.
Gee, those fortune cookies sure know tea. Now, if I could only figure out these chopsticks!
It might not be a fortune cookie, but A.C.’s blog is a great place to learn more about tea!