Tans for two: Multitasking tea-time

So I’m sitting here on my balcony with this commanding view of rich folks’ gardens, assailed by birdsong from left and right, and I’m bonding with my Bali pig.

In fact I’m multitasking. I’m reading in the sun, improving my mind though not so much I know better than to work on a tan at the same time.

I’m drinking tea—my souvenir sencha from Japan—a rumored antidote to damaged chromosomes. I remain skeptical in this regard, but trust the placebo effect to offset the UV radiation.

Meanwhile I’m also helping the pig get some color. I’ve adopted the habit of flinging the dregs of my tea at it, staining it nicely tannin even as I brown in the sun.

I bought the pig in Bali from master craftsmen, part of their craft being that of antiquing artifacts of their own recent manufacture. So I carry this hoary objet back on the plane, it’s so big I nearly have to buy it a ticket. And the maid sees this new member of our household and thinks, this is one classically dirty pig, no one has cleaned it in maybe 200 years. The next thing I know, she takes a wire brush and scrubs it right down to raw-red earthenware, so it looks as though it was born only last week, which indeed it was, goddamn it.

Now, between the elements—which include wind and rain and lichens that appreciate a nice splatter of pigeon shit from time to time—and my persistent flinging of tea dregs, the pig could pass for 20 years old in a dim light.

All the while the sunlight and tea are supposed to be taking years off my apparent age.

“Not working,” Sara tells me.

Though she does believe this habit of reading in the sun, forget about what Thai tradition and modern medical science have to say about it, does mean I’m still a child inside.


Regular visitors to this site, of whom there are none, might recognize the pig from the recent “Two hats” post.


6 thoughts on “Tans for two: Multitasking tea-time”

  1. If you pee on it, it will age even more gracefully, and will conjure up memories of yesteryear, when merry carousers used to pee on the trees in the world-famous but now terminally yuppified Peachy Guest House in fabulous metropolitan Banglamphu.

  2. Osho has since, through other channels, suggested far less delicate ways to tan a pig. While considering these — as well as his suggestion that I video the process and post it on YouTube — I remembered a time, years ago, when someone on Bali told me how they mightily accelerated the aging of a stone wall, cultivating a lush growth of moss with applications of yoghurt and beer.

    I replied, again through other channels to Osho’s suggestions with this: “I will look back on this moment, when I didn’t hire you immediately as my business manager, as the single greatest blunder of my life.”

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