Putting the “lov” in Pavlovian

The French translation for an experiment is une expérience. Interestingly they use that same word to say “experience”, and the fact they consider both words to be so close in meaning is almost like a hidden gem of wisdom. Anyway I’m doing one.

You know how certain smells or flavors can whip you back in time to another place faster than anything else? Somehow no matter how HD our tv’s get or how many mega pixels we cram into a camera, we’ve yet to find something as powerful as, say, the taste of a bright blue freeze pop from summer camp, or the smell of a hand soap your grandmother used to use. A year ago Charlotte brought me some tea from my favorite boutique in Paris. I opted for a brand new flavor, a Chai blend to satisfy my phase at the time. Months went by and I never got around to cracking it open. Eventually I resolved to save it for a special occasion, which never seemed to present itself until [ding!] moving to France. Begin expérience.

I usually keep 2 or 3 different flavors of black tea in the cupboard, or placard (which also means closet, but the double meaning here seems to have a bit less philosophical significance than the first). I’ve decided to drink this new Chai flavor only the times when I’m specifically sitting outside in our garden. Check that, it’s actually a half dirt/half grass under-maintained lawn, but in France the entire thing’s called a garden, a euphemism which suits me just fine. Anyway we bought a little wooden table and chair set that we keep out there, and my decision for which beverage I’ll start the day with always depends on where I plan to drink it. If I’m starting out in front of the computer, this new tea is forbidden to touch my lips. It’s Chai = garden, and garden = Chai. Hopefully I can fuse the two together.

I guess it’s clear where I’m going with this. Only time will tell if it works. Funny thing is, it’s not even one of my favorite teas, in fact all things being equal I don’t know if I’d ever buy it again. But hopefully all things won’t be equal when it comes to this one. And who knows, maybe one day, decades from now when I’m an old man and far away from here, I’ll still have the choice to wake up and have a cup of tea in my first garden of my first apartment of my first days in France.

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