Good day, fine people! How are y’all? This has been a hectic semester. I feel like I’ve grown and matured and become aged. There’s been plenty of changes this summer (getting a new job, buying a car, taking car to it’s first doctor’s- I meant, oil change appointment, comprehensive exams, language exams, gym memberships, cookie binges…) and we’ve moved into Fall.
Fall is my favorite season (outono é minha estação favorita… whoops, I can’t get out of the habit ever since I took that exam). The changing leaves, the crisp air, the lessening of outdoor allergies, and tendency for us humans to get together and just binge on food, drinks, and camaraderie make this the best season of all.
So of course my parents decided to spend their anniversary at the beach.
It was biting cold, everything was closed, and everything was quiet. For my family, that’s as good a time as any to go outside and see the waves at 7am (my sister and I saw dolphins!). We watched tv, joked around, had deeply political conversations and drank a few mixed drinks together. My family’s cool. We should do little getaways like that more often, the more off-season, the better.
But alas, all good things must, and so I went home for more grad school cramming for exams and trying to rack my brain for inspiration.
I don’t know if anyone else out there has this problem, but for me to write even the most basic essay, I have to have develop some sort of interest in the topic. I need to become attached to it. Whether it is about birth deformities in my biology course, census statistics in Brazil, or oil crises in Nigeria, I have to pull something out of it that genuinely fascinates me, that makes me want to look for answers. I’ve had plenty of papers this semester that have come and gone without me feeling that, which is worrisome. It means… something. I don’t know. If I can’t develop an attachment to my work, it’s being sent out there without a part of me. I want everything I do to be a reflection of me, and I’ve been lacking that “umph” to put into my work.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been focusing too hard, studying too hard, trying to enforce that rote memory and recitation of facts for these exams? One of my professors believes it’s because I’m in transition. My old life of school is nearing an end, and I’m colliding with a newer one. I haven’t had the chance to properly mourn my old life, because I’m simultaneously preparing for the new one. Whatever the reason, I’ve been trying some new approaches. Like finally taking a break.
After months of talking about it, my friend Alesha and I finally make it over to a little cafe called, “Chocolatea.” It’s a cafe that specializes in Asian-American fusion dishes, pastries of various styles, chocolate truffles, and tea.
Alesha said she looked mean in the photos I took of her. I took them off-guard on purpose. I think she looks… thoughtful.
[I brought my Canon AE-1 to take some fall photos, but uh… I still am trying to figure that sucker out. I went and got my photos developed and … all of them were overexposed! So uh, yeah, needs more work. Luckily, I have a lot of film, and if my younger self could conquer analog cameras, I can figure it out soon enough.]
It’s essentially Udon noodles with spinach, eggs and turkey sausage. And just like my first time having Udon in Seattle, I bit off way much more than I could chew, and couldn’t finish.
While the food was delicious, I couldn’t help but fall in love with the drink I got. I spied it while going through the menu online.
I initially wanted to go to try the many, many teas that Chocolatea offers, but man, they have a whole section called, “Coco-lattes,” and man, from the taste of these two, they all must be fantastic. I ended up getting the “White Matcha,” and my God, it’s all I can think about now.
First sip: A tentative sip. I know I like matcha (it’s powdered green tea leaves), but it’s literally taken me years to grow accustomed to that grassy…nearly bitter…not nearly sweet enough… too complex flavor. My first matcha sip was in 2007 in Japan during a tea ceremony, and I distinctly remember asking, “Do you… add sugar?” The ceremony leader said, “No, the flavor is great on its own!”
It’s warm and sweet. The white chocolate hits first.
Second sip: I realize exactly the kind of powerful sweetness and vegetable bitterness I’m dealing with, and I realize that I, little ole me, pales in comparison and is not ready to enjoy this.
I’m in ecstasy!
I’m now obsessed with using the matcha I buy monthly for white chocolate latte purposes. I’ve been living in the dark, apart from the wonder that is matcha+white chocolate. You know what, once I’m done typing this, I’m going to make some myself using this recipe. I strongly suggest you get some matcha of your own, and get to work (or not, because this drink failed to capture Alesha, and she preferred her Mayan choco-latte (dark chocolate+chipotle pepper+cinnamon)).
I hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving. I’m going to drink matcha+white chcocolate lattes, eat lots of food, and do homework.
See you later!
[Edit: Some really weird glitch’s been happening where my photos aren’t oriented properly and appearing very lossy. Should be fixed now!]