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Adoley and her bags of tea

After a nice meal of fried octopus with hot pepper and Fante kenkey, Adoley actually run me through a “know thy teabags” course in her kitchen.  We had sat there to eat.


She was indeed surprised to know I knew nothing about the benefits of teabags other than being used as a beverage.  “So Ablah, what do you do to keep mice away from your apartment?”  She asked.  “Mice?”  I asked, surprised, because I don’t have mice in my home – no way! 

“Yes, mice”, she said, “whose house doesn’t have mice and cockroaches?”  She continued.  I almost took offense at her statement because I always make sure I have anti-cockroach powder and anti-insect chemicals which aren’t harmful to humans, sprinkled in vantage points of my home.  Kwakey Laastop is a device I never run out of.  So those ruminants never make their way in or out of my apartment. 

 Yes, I caught a number of mice in the first single room I rented, in a compound house at Bubiashie, Accra.  That was way back in the early 2000s.  That experience made me a “mice vigilante".  So then I boldly yelled into Adoley’s face, “mice or roaches have no place in my dwelling”.  She laughed so loud and said mockingly, “as long as you have a kitchen, they’re there.  No matter how neat you keep the place, they are around”.  I simply toned my temper down to allow her teach me what the teabags in her house were for.

“Well, for people (not your type), who have mice disturbing them from time to time, they should simply place teabags in those mice-enticing areas of their home.  C’est tout!  “By the way, that is not to say my home is infested with mice.  The teabags around certain places here are just preventive measures”, I thought I should let you know that.  Lest you accuse me of not keeping my surroundings clean. 

“Let’s continue with our lessons”, she said with a smile, wiping with a clean napkin, the frying pan she had just washed.  “Ablah, I am surprised you don’t know teabags are not only meant to be brewed and drank.  Huh, does Obodai experience razor burns, cuts or scratches?” 

 “Sometimes”, I responded.  “Ahaa, anytime he experiences such cuts, just apply a wet tea bag to the affected area.  He will love you forever”, Adoley said convincingly.  “Are you sure”, I asked.  “Doubting me?  The sweetness of the pudding is in the eating.  Try it”, she said.  And do you or anyone you know have problems with smelly feet?” 

 Without allowing me to respond she went like, “just place a bag or two each in your shoes after each wear – excellent desiccant!  And make it a point to soak your feet in strongly brewed tea for 20 minutes a day ...  say good-bye to offensive odours.”  I sat there on the kitchen stool, basically shaking my head in awe. 

“For the likes of you who type a lot and work late into the night, what you need are teabags,” she said.  “Anytime your eyes are tired, achy or puffy, revive them by soaking two of the bags in warm water.  Then place them over your closed eyes for about 20 minutes.  You will call me to testify”. 

 “Eigh Adoley, are you sure this isn’t any of your “akwan kyerε?”  I asked.  Almost getting angry, she barked, “Ablah, if you mention this “akwan kyerε” thing again, I will keep mute.  You don't know the thing, I am teaching you something serious and you’re joking with the whole thing”.  Her temper was rising.  Her anger wasn’t anything I was prepared to content with at that instance.  So managing to calm her down, I asked her to continue. 

“See how rich those roses in front of the main door are?  I sprinkled some loose tea leaves around the plants and covered them with mulch.  That was all.  See how nice they are?”  She asked.  I was surprised at the benefits I was being made aware of.  “And do you know you can drain a boil with these bags?” She asked, picking one up from the side of her corner-seated microwave oven.  “You can drain a “matured” boil with a boiled tea bag! Just cover the boil with a wet tea bag overnight.  The bubble should drain without pain by the time you wake up next morning.” 

Then she looked at my bulging belly and said jokingly, “with this your big stomach I know it won’t be long and you’ll be having your baby.  Then you will start going for your inoculations and all those injections which are required for babies.  Well, if ever you, Naa Atswei or the new baby experience pain that comes with injections, just wet a tea bag and placing it over the site of the injection. Hold it gently in place until the crying stops. There’s an acid in the tea will soothe the soreness.  

 “Are you serious?”  I yelped. “I am dead serious.  And the next time you visit the salon, and you want a very nice natural shine, take with you about one litre of well brewed tea.  Ask your hairdresser to use it as a final rinse after your regular shampoo.  To give a natural shine to dry hair, use about one liter of warm, unsweetened tea (freshly brewed or instant) as a final rinse after your regular shampoo”.

“This is "wowaful", Adoley.  Never heard anything like that ooo”.    I said.  Then stretching out her right hand she said jokingly in her deep voice, “I didn’t teach you all this for free. Yeeees, bring your consultation fee … ei, lest I forget, you can use well-brewed tea to clean wood furniture and mirrors.  Just boil a couple of teabags in about 250 mls of water and let it cool. Dip a soft cloth in the tea, wring out the excess, and use it to wipe away dirt and grime. Wipe the surface again with a clean, soft cloth.   

Ablah, now go and teach others my “akwan kyerε”.  Then she chuckled.

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