On the weekend I went for a long walk to see what else is around where I live. And not 2 hours after Mom had told me to go check out a museum, I noticed a sign pointing out a Museum of Jade and Clocks. So of course, I went in (about 5 minutes before they were to close for lunch…). When I got onto the first floor there was an open door into what looked like an office. I glanced inside and there was an older man, a woman, and a younger man sitting who then turned to watch me as I walked around. The older man came out and started talking to me (in English), asking where I was from and whatnot. He then invited me to come in and have tea with them. Sure!
The office was huge and rich and BEAUTIFUL! He had paintings and calligraphy along the walls. The ‘seating’ area was carved wood furniture and they had a statue of Guan Yu (or Guan Gong they called him; of Three Kingdoms fame). He also had a special tea board/plate/table thing.
He began by putting the tea leaves into the small clay pot, poured hot water in right up so that when he put the lid on it overflowed down the sides of the pot, and let it sit for a few seconds. Then he poured it through a strainer into a porcelain cup, making sure to wash the sides of the cup. He then poured from this cup into the tiny little cups that we would drink from, taking care to wash them. He then dumped this tea out onto the board (where it was drained away) and proceeded to pour more hot water into the tea pot and after draining it through the strainer, filled our own cups. After filling our cups he took 3 cups over to the statue of Guan Yu and poured some tea for him.
I ended up staying for an hour. We drank two different kinds of tea: I can’t remember what the first was, but the second was Aloe tea which is popular in the city he is from (also in Guangdong province). The man also pulled out some nunchucks and showed off a bit. Slightly terrifying. Shortly before I left I asked if I could finish looking around the museum and the older man gave me a tour and explained where/when the clocks were from (18th-20th century; mostly German, Swiss, Japanese, Chinese, American, and I saw a couple English, and one Canadian). The jade was also really beautiful to look at as they had many chunks of rock and then jewelry. Also decorating the museum was petrified wood.
Anyway, it was certainly an interesting pit stop in my exploration!