Beer substitute

It’s baseball season here, and the fans are all eagerly watching every game by the hometown team, the New York Yankees. As you can imagine, their (yet again) early postseason exit has been met with some grief.

I’m not joking when I say hometown team being the Yankees. See, Wang Chien-ming, one of the Yankees’ starting pitcher, is a Taiwanese, so they have adopted the Yankees as a sort of hometeam. The Yankees are covered here with zeal, and the game commentators have the obvious Yankees bias that one cannot miss. Every game they play is newsworthy. In fact, I suspect the coverage of the Yankees here is probably even better than in New York itself. Games are played live in the morning (night in New York) and replayed at prime time the same night. When I come home, sometimes I turn on the TV while getting ready to brew tea, and more often than not, I stumble upon the baseball game on the tube and stay there. That, and the news shows are the only things really worth watching in Taiwan.

As I watched the Yankees get kicked out of this year’s postseason with glee, I was brewing the 2006 fall Bangwei tea that I got last year in Beijing. I’ve mentioned this tea a few times before, so I won’t bother again. It’s a solid tea and I wonder why I didn’t get more of it, since it was only something like $12 a cake for what is obviously a good old tree tea. Now you can’t even get maocha at these prices. Sigh. I should’ve bought a tong, or three.

Drinking tea while watching baseball though made me think that I probably wasn’t the only person in Taipei doing the same thing today. In fact, I’m quite sure there are others out there who were probably drinking some tea, perhaps some Taiwanese oolong, with a few friends while watching the game together in agony as the Yankees simply couldn’t hit and Wang pitched a disastrous inning before getting chased off the mound. In the US, it would’ve probably been some nasty macrobrew. Here, it’s a brew, but not that kind. This isn’t to say beer isn’t consumed — I’m sure it’s consumed in large amounts, but I think alternatives are entirely acceptable too.

I remember YP telling me she used to drink Red Label with her husband while watching the World Cup on TV. This was in 1990, I think, when that wasn’t such a ridiculous proposition. Then, the tea got more expensive and it seemed unwise to drink something like that while just watching a game, so she switched to a Yellow Label. Obviously, that’s a little too rich now as well. I’m sure she’s moved on to some 80s tea. While what I was drinking tonight was much, much more humble… I couldn’t help but feel the same. If only….

Oh well, at least I have two cakes of this.


Comments

Beer substitute — 3 Comments

  1. Because I’ve lived for 6 years in that town about 3 hours north of New York where another bunch of poorer, even more underpaid citizens wearing red socks have a longstanding rivalry with the pinstrips.

Leave a Reply to MarshalN Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.