A: Open a tea-house in Hobart, Tasmania.
Hobart is a beautiful old port town of short and squat historic buildings built to keep out the cold southern winds. Perched upon the waterfront of the Derwent River, which empties into Storm Bay, the Tasman Sea, and the Southern Ocean, I have never made the one-hour flight down to explore this corner of the world despite ten years of living in Melbourne.
The sun us setting and the clouds look as though they are glowing from the inside as we pull into the city center in search of Chado: The Way of Tea... A couple of short paragraphs grazed over the in-flight magazine on Tiger Airlines alerted us to the place, run by Brian Ritchie, bassist for the Violent Femmes, and his lovely wife Varuni Kulasekara.
There is one page of food items on the menu, and pages upon pages of exotic names with descriptions of the exotic teas served up. Our servers are a two beautiful women from Japan and India, who gracefully invite us in to sit and enjoy a meal - even though we are the only two people in the place.
Tea sets line the walls and a bamboo flute plays softly in the background. Apparently, Brian often stops by the shop to play for customers - not folk-punk bass guitar but the shakuhachi, or bamboo flute - and we missed him today as he played for the lunchtime crowd...
Dinner is delicious: bento boxes, Violent Femmes-style - served by the band's groupies with flaming sake bombs and everyone's favorite riff from everyone's favorite Femmes anthem blasting as the food comes out... "and we go ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, like a Blister in the Sun........"
Welcome to Tasmania, wild cultural hub of the southern oceans! This is going to be a good trip...