23 January 2006

World travel

It is 5:54 am. I just finished making a cup of Assam tea. From the Indian state of...Assam.

Imagine. This little cup o’ came all the way from India. How many people had a hand in getting it to my belly on a 19° January early morning in Maine? Oh, and I put a teaspoon of coconut milk in it. That came from Thailand! Really!

Here’s a look at the relationship between India and Thailand. Just for a cup of tea! My head is reeling.

What in the world would I be drinking if I lived truly locally!? Dandelion root? Nettles? (Both of which I have in my cabinet.) Are they native? The dandelions aren’t. Not originally. Not pre-1600s. Certainly not decafe coffee! Not even apple cider. Probably good ol’ warm water.

You tell me.

1 comment:

gb herron said...

You would have to go back a really long way to find a western culture that was completely local. May even be true of "indigenous" cultures. Trade is a pretty basic human interaction; and the desire for variety, rarity, newness etc. is pretty ingrained.

But what DID those native americans drink when they got up in the morning? Interesting question.

And what if trade were limited to a few hundred square miles? What would I trade with you for after a long week on horseback? What you got up there, Crow?

I'd trade some berkshire granite or a tanglewood ticket for one of your tiny paintings.