Seeking refuge in a simple cup of tea is one of my tried and true strategies for feeling at home while I’m on the road. When I’m overwhelmed or unsure of my next move, sipping a hot beverage buys me time to reflect on exactly what in the world is going on around me and how I fit into the picture. Also, tea pairs well with writing in a journal, which I’ve observed, most waiters around the world tend to indulge with a friendly smile, and usually a few curious questions about what I’m writing, where I’m from, etc., etc.. A little caffeine perks me up if I’m weary from my wanderings, and before long I’m ready to venture forth again, into the unfamiliar. What I especially enjoyed about my teatime in India was the experience of the tea tray as still life: a crumbly cookie, pressed linens, flower petals floating in a bowl of water. Composed of slightly more than just the cup of tea I’d ordered, memorable moments were made by a few simple touches of color, texture and taste. A good souvenir to bring home! I also had a cup of tea in the airport while I waited six frustrating hours for my rescheduled flight from Delhi to Udaipur. It came in a tiny red plastic cup, with lots of undissolved white sugar and instant creamer, and, as far as serving its strategic purpose of smoothing the bumps in the road on that particular leg of my journey, it was every bit as memorable as those pictured below.