Techivita’s Note: So I noticed that Koshira and I did an absolutely terrible job at describing the first scene in chapter 4 of Jorat and I deeply apologize for that. I was going to put out another descriptive write before this one, but since we used this as one of the scenes in Jorat, I decided that it would only be fair to put this one out first. Anyway, "Yaya Tea Garden" is one of my favorite tea shops to visit in Manhattan. Although it is just sometimes a tad bit too expensive, the food there is absolutely amazing, not to mention all of the people working over there are extremely kind. So this dedicated to them and all the good times I've had there.
Written by Techivita
It was a bright Saturday morning as cars rushed towards the Brooklyn, quickly rolling to get to their next destination. Pigeons flocked overhead in the bright city sky, resting wherever the harsh urban life allowed them to. I walked quietly down the small, overpopulated streets, trying to dodge out of the way of the tourists that nonchalantly block other’s paths in order to fully take in the sights of the stores and markets they past by. I pass by the one drunk man that always manages to always find himself another beer before passing out on the steps of Popeye’s, seemingly never caring if he blocks other people’s paths. Popeye’s is filled with children- who looked no older than those who go to primary school- accompanied by their parents. As I finally reach my destination, I see a light green banner with tantalizing pictures advertising only some of the various Japanese foods they had. Slowly declining down the sloped street, I stop in front of the glass door standing in front of the small entrance. The store is filled nearly to the brim with people, the back of the line reaching almost up to the door I stood at.
I step inside, the chimes attached to the door ringing a small harmonious melody. That melody was drowned out by the various chatter in the store and the occasional shouts of the cashier serving out food to the awaiting customers. I wait on the line as I try to see who was the cashier for the day, however, the mass crowd of middle and high schoolers block my field of view. I look around glancing at some of the other aspects of the shop as I wait for the line to become shorter. To my right were various chairs all lined neatly in a row filled with people. Above them were various lists of foods, drinks and prices. The drink list was always the most fun and most varied, ranging from a “Scarlet Knight” to a “Period Pad” to a “Thor”. They all had different flavors, all with different teas and fruits to make them unique from each other. I move over to the left, standing and almost leaning on the large shelves of snacks. There were about 6 rows in total, all full to the brim with snacks such as pocky and some obscure Japanese snacks that could only be found in some arcane Japanese markets in Manhattan. Underneath each column of snacks, there were papers taped to the Everest green shelves displaying the prices.
The line became considerably shorter as I was able to see more and more of the store’s interior. The man at the cashier was the one I always saw. He wore a plaid shirt and his face was adorned with his usual black glasses as he quickly tapped various orders into the computer with an alacrity only a few people could have after doing the same, repetitious motion every few seconds. I looked at the cooler to his right, viewing several bottles and cans of popular sodas as well as “Ramune” and “Skaal”. I look to the right to see various tables scattered with people who chatted as they enjoyed their view, going on with their lives as the world passed around them. Those tables eventually led to more coolers that were filled with various sweets, such as mochi ice cream and pints of red bean ice bars.
When I reach the cashier he addresses me with his usual greeting, already knowing what I was about to order- a large “Iron Man” with pop yogurt. He memorizes all of my usual orders, one out of the thousands of orders that go through his memory every single day, yet I still had yet to figure out his name. I’ve just always assumed his name was Steven because he looked like a Steven kind of person, however, I later found out his name was Vincent. As I pay for my money and get my drink card stamped, I looked over to what was behind him. There were more dark green shelves, however this time they were filled with tea jars and t(ea) – shirts instead. There was also a small conveyor belt, perfectly matching the color theme of the store, as it quickly brought out large plates of onigiris and udon. He hands me my change and my card and I skitter over towards the side to wait for my order.
I sit in one of the tall stools as I watch them prepare about five drinks at once. One of the other barristers working at the stores pours the jelly requested in each cup and then shakes some ice into each of them. Then, according to each label on the cup, they measure specific fruit syrups into a small, cone like structure which then gets dumped into a drink shaker. They then put in the already prepared tea- ranging from a color as bright as the sun to a darkened colored void- and then shake the mix together. They then pour all of this into the labeled cup and use a machine to put a plastic-like film on top to prevent it from spilling. This cycle repeats over and over again and I’m surprised that they don’t even seem just the slightest bit tired just doing repetitious activities. They do this several times before my order is shouted. I quickly grab the drink and grab a straw from one of the two straw containers and squirm my way through the gigantic crowd to seemed to have grown after I had ordered my food. I pushed open the door as the chimes jingled to its goodbye.