My Chai Mug

In another life I was an intern with HDR, Inc. – a big engineering/architecture firm with an office in Gillette, Wyoming.  It was far and away the best job I’ve ever had.  For 9 months I learned how to be an real engineer (and seriously reconsidered how much I really wanted to do this whole Peace Corps thing, but that’s another story).

In addition to the all work I was part of, the things I learned, and the people I met, I may also have developed less than healthy relationship with coffee.  I was (am) in love.

Every morning when I came into the office the first thing I would do was put on a big pot o’ coffee: half for the office, half for me.  I would pour that steamy, delicious, bold (man, I miss coffee) brew into my oversized mug and sip until I became human about half an hour later.

So when it came to deciding on creature comforts to bring with me to Kyrgyzstan my big coffee mug was a no brainer.  I threw it in my bag and didn’t think about it again until this week.

A bunch of neighbors came over for dinner and we were one tea cup short.  My host sister, Alina, was in the process of asking someone to go next door to borrow one when I remembered my mug.

“No, no wait.  I have a cup.”

I jumped up, dug around in my closet until I found it, and brought it back to Alina.  She gave me a bit of a weird look, but then shrugged and filled it with tea.  After dinner I kind of forgot about it.

The next day just Alina, Nurkalyi, and I were sitting down for dinner when Alina pulled my mug out of the cupboard and poured me some tea.

The next day, the same.

And the next.

I have been drinking tea out of my big coffee mug ever since.  Even if someone tries to hand me a different cup someone stops them.

“No, no, no.  THIS is Cole’s cup.”

At this point I’m pretty sure they think I have some kind of coffee mug OCD.  I want to say something about it, but I’m not quite sure how to differentiate between “I don’t necessarily need that cup, don’t worry about it” and “don’t give me that cup” in Kyrgyz.

But you know what?  On second thought I’m not going to say anything.  I like my mug.

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About Cole Bedford