Tea was the ritual comma to our midnight drives, the hours carelessly slipping away unnoticed.
“Wasn’t it just six pm?” he wondered aloud each time we would pull up to one of our many tea joints for our regular fix of two karaks.
But it was almost always midnight – or worse, three in the morning – when we eventually found our way home.
Initially, he didn’t like the strong milk tea, balking at first sip; it was too sweet, too hot, and too late in the evening to have tea. Regardless, like clockwork, we find ourselves nursing a cup of karak at midnight.
I smile and answer, “Na, sicher.”
It was always too sweet, too hot, and too late.
In a way, karak time was the perfect allegory for he and I. In the end, it was the singular constant in our little bubble of unknowns: who we were, what this meant, when would we walk away, where this was all going, and why we still stayed.
Masala chai is a flavoured tea beverage made by brewing black tea with a mixture of aromatic Indian spices and herbs. Originating in India, the beverage has gained worldwide popularity, becoming a feature in many coffee and tea houses.
In the Middle East, particularly in the Arab countries surrounding the Persian Gulf where it is highly popular, the drink is commonly called “karak chai” (Arabic: شاي كرك) by the locals.
VANESSA | Founder & Publishing Editor
Vanessa is an artist, writer, and digital nomad. She writes about life and the spaces in between things at Absolutely Yar, grapples with her search for the geographic cure at Say Yes to New Adventures, and curates a collection of beautiful things at Of Something Beautiful.
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