This is Albert:
I love Albert. That actually happens to me quite a bit. I fall for all the service people in my life. Albert came to fix our dryer (read: dual washer/dryer) on Friday and I could barely understand a word out of his mouth. East Londoner he is.
But I asked him if he wanted a cuppa. Because I’m polite and it was the afternoon. And he, to my chagrin, accepted.
I only began to sweat a little. Usually I let Bryan make the tea. It’s too much stress for me. Especially when Handyman Harry says “two sugars”. I mean, what does that even mean?? No one uses cubes at home. Ugh.
But Bryan wasn’t home and I need to act like a big girl and so I turned on the electric tea kettle. And I let that thing go beyond boiling. And then I poured that scalding water over the tea bag in the mug. And I let it sit. Because I remember once an English person told me Americans never let the tea bag steep long enough. So I let it sit some more. And then I was very generous with the whole milk. And I felt very proud of myself that the water was so hot and the steeping was so long and that we had whole milk in the house (courtesy of our toddler).
Albert took the tea and drank it and I pretended I wasn’t monitoring his reaction. Then a little bit later Albert turned to me, and this is what happened:
Albert: Do you ever use a teapot?
Me: No, I always use the electric kettle and do it this way. Wait, should I?
Me: You can taste the difference?
A: Oh yeah. What I… (blikeyblimeyblokey is what his thick accent sounds like, I can only get every third word)… you put a few tea bags in the pot and pour the hot water over it and let it sit for a while… (blikeyblimeyblokey).
Me: (attempting self-deprecation in reverse psychological attempt to get some kind of affirmation from Albert) Well, you know Americans can never make tea properly!! Ha ha!! Albert? Ha! Right? Hardy har!
A: Well I’ve had some good tea made by Canadians.