If my grandmother could see the tea shop I’m sitting in right now she would cry from happiness. Why? Because the entire place is the dream of anyone who loves Victorian things. As my Couchsurfing host told me yesterday, “Everything is covered in flowers.” The name of the shop is Cupan Tae, and it’s pretty well known in the city, from what I can tell. That doesn’t take away any of the magic, though. There is classic 1920’s music playing in the background, and the room is small and cozy with baby chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. I love it.
I do have a bit of a bias, though, because the staff is using their charger to charge my phone, because I brought the wrong adaptor, and it died last night. Which means my ability to tell where I am or what time it is died with it. The shop is lovely, though, and it’s reminding me how much I miss small tea shops. Or just anything small and quiet. Small doesn’t really seem to exist in Paris and it kind of breaks my heart. Sitting here, I’m also realizing just how much tea I drink. I think I have a mild addiction.
Yesterday was so beautiful because I arrived on one of those rare winter days that’s sunny and not really cold. My Couchsurfing hosts were a couple (she was German, he was Irish) who took me on a much needed walk along the sea. I needed sea air so much. After our walk we jumped into this little restaurant, and I had the absolute best apple crumble. I don’t know why I always seem to be eating dessert when I travel. Believe me, it’s only when I’m traveling.
My Irish host reminded me so much of my grandpa, that it kind of made me homesick. You have to understand, my grandpa (every bit the stereotype of his Irish blood) is a storyteller to surpass all others. He can walk down the street, or go the grocery store, and come back with tales of daring deeds, near death experiences and his ultimate conquer of all feats. That being said, he is a quiet man. But when it’s time for a story, the whole room falls silent. We all know half the facts are exaggerated and that some things probably never even happened, but that’s okay. Its understood by the listeners that THAT is what makes the stories worth listening too. That’s how the stories are used to make you laugh, cry or want to venture out into the world and conquer it.
In the same way that some people learn to sing by their family being musical, I learned to tell stories from sitting and listening to my grandfather spin tales. Yesterday was very much like that. Everything we walked by had a story. Half of them probably weren’t true, but all of them were welcome. The best part was the thrown in profanities throughout the stories, which seemed not only natural but completely necessary – there were a lot of: “Christ almighty” “Shite” and “Fucking hell”. (I’m not swearing on my blog, mom – I’m quoting someone).
This weekend was so incredibly needed. I’ve felt so stale in Paris, and now I just want to curl up and write a hundred stories with a giant pot of tea. There’s something about coming back to this country, and something about being near the sea, that energizes and revitalizes me. In a way that no other place can.
The first time I came to Ireland I thought it would be that way when I traveled anywhere, but now that I’ve traveled so much more I’m realizing that’s just not the case. This is the exception, not the rule. I think my Couchsurfing host said it the best yesterday: “Sometimes, you just have a deeper connection with the land. I’ve traveled around, but I never feel as much as peace as I do in Ireland.”
I’m already planning my trip back in the spring\summer. I can’t wait.