Chai Talk

Tuesday, July 18

Location: Casa de Kent (near University Station on the Calgary C Train)
Rating: ****.5/5

The Casa de Kent is a quaint and hospitable home with one of the most forgiving and generous hosts you are likely to find on the face of the earth. After an hour long C Train ride through the Calgary Stampede kick off crowds I was ready to see a friendly face and the old women who was drunk and sitting beside me on the C Train didn't count. My host met me at the C Train station and despite me being an hour late he was still there standing in the sun slowing roasting. Actually it was very reminiscent of our meetings in India where one of us was always at least an hour late.

We embraced back on home soil for the second time since leaving India and it quickly was like old times. A stop at the liquor store for beer later we arrived at Casa de Kent. A homey bungalow that makes up for a lack of furniture with a bbq in the back yard that I understand was rescued from an uncaring owner in an alley not far away. We quickly got to making chicken tikka which Kent had marinating in the warm sun, Chandigarh style. Then it was fun and sun as the shirts unwisely came off as they always seem to when I'm with Kent as we got the bbq warmed up and the beer chilled in the backyard. The chicken tikka was done to perfection and literally melted in my mouth. The side of an aged cheddar cheese, fresh bread and tomato gave the meal a north american twist though I did miss the mint sauce and raw onions of the traditional meal. After reminiscing, talking future plans and generally taking trash over what some might say is too much beer for 4 in the afternoon, we headed in for chai and and Indian pop music.

I knew that Kent had picked up some prime ingredients and I was not disappointed when I saw him whip out fresh ginger, green cardamom and I believe Dajeeling tea (correct me if I'm wrong). As the mixture bubbled the scent of far off adventures filled the room and the sounds of almost forgotten parties filtered down from Kent's computer speakers. On first sip the chai threw me off with it's milkyness however we quickly realized that it was because Kent forgot the sugar. A small but vital misstep which cost a half point however understandable since India is becoming a memory and we both had more than enough beer and sun for the afternoon. Once it was fixed I allowed the chai to take over my senses. A perfect mix of spicy ginger, the tang of green cardamom and the subtle dark seduction of truly fine Indian tea. One cup was not enough but another is a pleasure that will have to be saved for a later day since both Kent and I had to move on. The memories of the chai and the sunburn have stuck with me and reading the tea leaves in the bottom of the chai pot I know that our fates will come together again for more Chai Talk in the future.
nicholas, 8:41 PM


I'm flattered. Although, I knew that sugar incident would cost me.

Oh, and it's actually Assam Tea. I'll be sure to bring some with me when/if I go to Edmonton.

You're definitely right about too much beer for 4 in the afternoon...too much sun as well. The burn still hasn't fully left my face or my nose.
Blogger kent, at 9:51 PM  
Darjeeling, is assam:)

Cheers mate
Blogger 30.45 N,76.48 E, at 5:50 AM  

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