I don’t understand it. I’m a tea snob. Lipton is unacceptable. It’s not tea – at all.
And yet when I fly anywhere, there’s this thing in me that relishes a hot tea. Even Lipton.
It’s silly, maybe, or sentimental, more likely. I first fell in love with this practice in 2002 when I did my first “big” international flight. I was part of a large show choir that had been touring the USA for one and a half months already. Then, we were off to Europe. It was late, I was exhausted and slightly miserable (thanks partially to my of-yet undiagnosed brain damage from a car accident that had been causing issues on tour).
The flight attendants came through with a steaming pot of something. I knew I wouldn’t drink coffee, but they had tea. My grandma loved her hot tea every day, so I thought, Well, I’ll give it a try. What could it hurt?
Grandma drank her tea black, but I was feeling the cream and sugar might ease me into it. The flight attendant smilingly handed me a steaming cup of water, a packaged Lipton tea bag, a packet of sugar, and two creamers. She passed on. I stared down at the cup, took out the teabag, and dunked it in.
When the brew was dark and rich looking, I added in the sugar and cream, stirring lazily with a wooden stick. Being a newbie to hot tea, I burnt the roof of my mouth. But that didn’t stop me from taking another sip a few minutes later. And then downing the whole cup shortly after.
When the flight attendants came back through with more beverage service, I got another cup.
And, though I now skip the add-ins and drink my tea as Grandma once did, I have been enjoying a hot cuppa on airplanes ever since.
It’s bizarre. It’s strange. It’s unconventionally conventional for me, and I love it. Don’t ask me why.
There are so many wonderful, small delights in the world. Check out these other favorite things and positive moments and things for the MockingOwl Roost contributors and staff. Maybe you’ll find some inspiration of your own.
Editor-in-Chief of The MockingOwl Roost, Rita Mock-Pike is the granddaughter of aviatrix, Jerrie Mock, first woman to pilot an airplane solo around the world. Rita has found inspiration from her grandmother’s life and flight and pursued many of her own dreams in theatre, podcasting, novel writing, and cooking up delicious food from around the world. She now writes on food, travel, pets, faith, and the arts. She’s happily married to Matt, and faithfully serves the very fluffy kitten queen, Lady Stardust.