Thursday, December 08, 2011

Tagalog for Tea

When I came back to London from the Philippines, I got a job in the account’s department of an Estate Agent’s in Chelsea. Every morning at 9:30am the maid would come and serve us tea. Dressed in a traditional black and white maid’s uniform, she was a chirpy, chubby middle-aged Filipino woman who looked like she hated us all except once when I tried to thank her in Tagalog, then she burst out laughing and I went bright red. I think my accent was bad. You can tell a lot about people by how they take their tea. Workmen, labourers, plumbers, all manual workers, take two. Media people, contrary to popular belief, take none at all.
– 1999

Previously on Barnflakes:
Not for all the tea in China

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