THINGS I LOVED/HATED THIS WEEK #158

LOVE:

Dammann Tea:

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I have spent years hunting for the perfect mint tea. I’m desperate for one that tastes just like the nectar they serve at the Grand Mosquée de Paris. It’s the most delicious stuff in the entire world. It’s one of my favorite places in Paris, and if you don’t go on your trips to my beloved city, you’re dead to me. I wish that I could have tea like this every day of my life. So I look and I look. I have tried every mint tea available in the local grocery stores. None of them are strong enough. I thought I had the finest available when I finally found some tea at the Louvre by Kusmi. I have one silk sachet of that one left, so that means I have to go back to Paris to stock up again, right? I mean, I could buy it on Amazon, but what’s the fun in that? I could buy Chanel online, but where is the luxurious experience on a website? I insist on buying it in an actual Chanel boutique, Paris preferably, but I’ll accept Chicago. What am I even writing about? Tea. Okay. Months ago, when I was in Aswan, Egypt, staying at the magical Old Cataract Hotel and being treated like a prince, I was stunned by the beautiful room I was upgraded to. It had a full hot drink bar, so I swiped all of the tea sachets and threw them in my bag. I finally had the mint one yesterday, and I was so thrilled by how minty and strong it is. It tasted like the Mosque. I could have screamed. Immediately I looked at Dammann teas online, and they’re super expensive, roughly a dollar per tea bag. Isn’t that wild? I am going to order some soon and savor them. I will get out my silver tea kettle like they use in the Middle East, steep my tea, close my eyes, sip and pretend I’m in a palace on the Nile.

Snapchat Memories:

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I wasn’t a big fan of Snapchat when it first emerged as the trendiest thing for the youths to socialize with. I didn’t like the idea of sending out blurry pictures that lasted ten seconds and then vanished into the void. It seemed impersonal because you really couldn’t like or comment on the pictures. You would have to initiate a new conversation, and that sounded like too much work. So I didn’t do it all that much for the longest time. More recently, though, Snapchat introduced something where you can save your memories into a dedicated spot and nostalgically click through them. Last night, I went back on my summer vacation. Suddenly, there I was again at the Stade de France screaming musically along with Beyoncé. I could hear myself weeping when “Freedom” started. It was great. That song is my anthem. Then I was walking through Turin and here was Museum Island, and then wonderfully, I was hurtling again through the Egyptian countryside. I will never get over how beautiful the little villages and palm groves along the Nile are. You won’t be able to grasp it if you haven’t been. I don’t mean that in an elitist way at all, dear reader. I want you to experience the same things that I did. That was a magical trip. Most trips are remembered as purified memories. All the minor things, the duller things, the unpleasant bits are effaced, leaving a gleaming version of what happened. This didn’t really happen with Egypt. It really was flawless. I was upset like once, and even then, it was a great memory to reflect on. You can read about that in my future blog about Abu Simbel. What fun I had in that ancient temple on the border of Egypt and Sudan. It was glorious. But I’m reflecting too much. I’m here to talk about Snapchat. It’s now full of beautiful memories. It has made the app worth having.

Amazon Customer Service:

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I have rarely had a reason to contact Amazon’s customer service. Everything they do tends to be flawless, and my orders arrive promptly and cheaply. I am a ho for Amazon Prime and happily pay the yearly fee. I don’t know what I would do without a Prime account. It’s so luxurious to have something delivered a day after ordering it instead of a week later. It’s probably been bad for my budget, but whatever, at least I’m enjoying my life. So, I ran out of espresso last week. At work, I have a Nespresso machine that I use for my many daily demitasse cups of the blessed liquid. I finally found that Mixpresso makes delicious pods that work well in the machine, so I ordered a new box. At work, I was desperate for my espresso, I was shaken. So, I was so relieved last night when the UPS man dropped off my box of coffee. Like a junkie, desperate for some kind of drug, I tore the package open and found tea. TEA! I screamed. Why had they sent me leaves instead of coffee??? I glared at the box and saw that the barcode was for the espresso and accidentally slapped on the wrong box. How dare they? How very dare they? I immediately contacted Amazon, but was told that it was sold from a third-party vendor and couldn’t be returned. Bitch! It was the wrong thing, and I would be getting my espresso. So, I sent a lovely email to the company, and they sent me a charming note back. I get to keep the tea, they will refund my bill, and they will upgrade my replacement order to one day shipping. What a nice thing. What a blessed business. What sensational customer service. I could really not be more pleased with the way things worked out. They had better deliver the right goods this time or I will have an aneurism. I need my espresso. I can quit anytime…sure…but why would I want to?

NASA Nap:

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I will struggle with sleep until the day I die. I don’t have any trouble sleeping, mind you. I can fall asleep and stay asleep just fine. I can sleep anywhere, and I can sleep at any time. There is no problems there. I just don’t sleep. I have way too much shit to do all the time. So I never sleep. I’m like a vampire, except I don’t get to live forever in a castle in Eastern Europe, and that’s a real shame. Wouldn’t that be fun? I have always wanted to be vampire. Too bad they aren’t real. Sign me right up. So, I don’t sleep. I get four to six hours a night, and that’s not nearly enough. My body requires seven hours, but I don’t have seven hours in my schedule. Being a full time employee and a full time student is STUPID. Don’t do it, reader. I will be doing it for years and I can tell I’m aging twice as quick as I should. So in desperation to be alert and awake, I have tried every single sleep method ever. I have done that double shift crap. Nope. I did that Benjamin Franklin intermittent napping idea. Hell no. I have attempted to just have a regularly scheduled nap. Lolz. I just woke up even more tired. So, I gave up. But then I heard about the NASA Nap, and my inner sleepy self told me to give it a try. What you do is set a timer for 26 minutes and then lay down. I was suspicious. But after a few moments of thinking how suspicious I was, I fell asleep. In what felt like seconds, my Apple Watch was buzzing and I was awake. I didn’t have any desire to push the snooze button. I wasn’t completely refreshed, but I felt much better than I had before taking the nap. It was truly a marked improvement. I will try this a few more times before I say it’s the flawless and most perfect solution, but I think I’m on the right track. I love sleeping.

ALDI Sunflower Bread:

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When I went to Berlin this summer, I mainly went to see the bust of Nefertiti, which has fascinated me since I first saw it. But I also went to gorge myself on rye bread. I had been informed by a number of sources how fabulous the baked goods are there, so I had to find out for myself. Once established at the lovely Adina hotel, I hit the streets, and found a nice bakery a block away. My German was nonexistent, even though I have practiced it for years, but I managed to finally acquire a loaf that was stuffed throughout with seeds. It was dense, weighed at least five pounds, and was utterly delicious when slathered with salty butter. I haven’t had anything like that since, and I have missed it. One slice of bread was enough for a meal! The other day when I was shopping at ALDI, smiling contentedly at all the bargain-priced nibbles, I happened upon a vacuum sealed wedge of rye bread. I gasped seeing the sunflower seeds covering the surface. I squeaked when I saw that it had been imported from Germany. I put it immediately into my bag. Once back at home, I eagerly cut into the package and bit into one of the thinly sliced pieces. It wasn’t exactly like it was in Berlin, but it is so close. The flavor is intensely rye, simultaneously sweet and sour and nutty; it is fabulous. I had to restrain myself from eating the entire loaf. I can’t wait to get home so that I can use it to make some avocado toast as my after work snack. I hope they have other varieties at ALDI, but if they don’t, I’ll still be satisfied. This, like English Cheddar and Winking Owl Rosé, is now one of my staples at that wonderful grocery store. Go gorge yourself, readers!

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