I went to the tea ceremony demonstration held at the Hilton Bonaventure, an event organised in order to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Montreal branch of the Urasenke school.
I found myself a nice place in the 2nd row, beside a man that has a corporate look. So far, the usual. I did not expect to know anyone since the type of men you usually meet in those events are in their fifties and don't know much about tea but are rather curious. For a change, the guy beside me seemed quite young.
Right before the demonstration, he turned in my direction and started talking to me, as casual as can be, as if we already talked before. He starts by mentionning that he tasted many kind of really good Matchas and Gyokuros in Japan. My eyes went whoa! There starts the amazement. Bulls-eye! The guy's got my attention right there! He talks about when he went to Japan, that he visited tea gardens and manufactures and brought back big packages of Gyokuro that have been packed personally by the tea producer, right before his eyes. Whoa! Things are getting a bit too coincidental! It's good I was sitting... That is precisely what I want to do when I'll visit Japan... He was describing one of my dreams as he was describing me his trip...
There goes the demo. Then, we talk a bit, I am being given his card, I find the name a bit familiar, but not the face, then we chat with Japanese old women and get offered to attend a second demo (second bowl of tea!!!), this one being conducted on chairs. We say yes!
After the demo, we talk some more before he has to make an urgent phone call to his family. What struck me bizarely is the way he talks to his brother. It is actually the very same way my brother and I interact!! It is getting freakish! He mentions that he comes from St-Hyacinthe. I said "Get out!!! Me too!". Man, I learned that we both lived on the same street, went to the same primary school, had same teachers, he knew my cousin and some guys from the neighborhood. Hey! What are the odds of meeting someone like that in Montreal, in a tea ceremony demo??? I wonder!
We take the metro and before saying goodbye, he asks me the direction I am taking. After mentioning, "Côte-Vertu", he asked me if I lived on Ouimet street. Shock again. I said no, that I live 2 seconds away from it, but questioned him on how come he knows that street (hey, who knows Ville St-Laurent, eh?). He offered me to invite me soon to have the first teapot of great Gyokuro, right as he opens the sealed bag. What an honor! I can't refuse that!
Now, I already hear some of you saying that it is a nice start to something more evolved, that the guy is totally for me or similar thoughts. I am sorry to say that it is wrong, that it doesn't work that way for me. Amazement is not synonym of or does not lead to infatuation; I can separate them very well. What will start to seduce me will be based on an actual bond, on an actual complicity, a warm chemistry. I could not say that I have found that yet. But I can appreciate the surprises that life brings me and laugh heartedly at them! ;-D