Last night I dreamt of Kurdish chai. I don’t remember everything about the dream except the excitement I felt when I realized someone was going to serve it to me. It must have been my grandmother. She was carrying a silver platter with the filled up chai glasses on top. I could smell the tea and the sugar.
I miss Kurdistan more than anything. Maybe I feel the longing towards it more now because my dad lives there. My dad fucking lives somewhere that is not my own home. It’s weird. But I’d rather him be there than anywhere in the world.
I miss the taste of chai and the cultural importance of it in general. Every meal was accompanied by chai. Every conversation accompanied by chai. When someone new entered the room there was always someone else in charge of making and bringing the guests chai within 5 minutes.
The first few days I spent there I drank the tea straight from the glass after swirling the small spoon around the tea, waiting a few minutes for it to cool down. The more I observed everyone else (mostly the men) I realized they drank the tea much differently. They would pour the tea from the glass to the tea plate, pick up the plate, put it up to their mouths and drink it much like us Westerners would drink milk out of the bowl after we finish our cereal. I asked why and they said it was mostly to cool the tea down so they’d be able to drink it faster. From that moment on I never drank my tea the “normal” out of the glass way.
Sugar cubes. Silver platters. Pink roses. Prayer beads.
These are the things I miss.