Two Tara’s in Chinatown

Two Tara’s in Chinatown
By Tara Sutphen

I set off on an adventure today with Tara Marino, Elegant Fem Specialist. We went down to Chinatown in Los Angeles. I hadn’t been there for years. I had tinges of nostalgia, and it made me miss venturing out more. I forget how wonderful it is to explore all the ‘cubby holes’ this city has to offer. Tara M has been my client for awhile now, gifted to me by Extraordinary Ellie Drake of Braveheart Women. Tara is elegant herself and soulful. I know we are going to enjoy the day.

We glide into Los Angeles as though I drive it often. And we find a wonderful parking lot near all the shops. Off we go, to find a place recommended by Dr Lisa Wong. Excitedly we head to the back counter of a big grocery store only to find the Herbal Expert only sees people on Wednesday’s and Saturdays. Today is Thursday. I decide to be forward and ask if they recommend anyone. They say ‘come back Saturday’. I look at Tara and whisper “Remember…we walk in magic”. We head out of the store, both of us a little disappointed. All the colors and sounds feel like we are in a foreign land. I decide to ask sales clerks in stores where there is an Herbal Specialist. And Mike in a Men’s suit shop gives us the whole lay of the land. Prices, places, recommendations, food – the only thing I didn’t ask him was finding psychic readers…. Maybe…. that will be next time.

We venture into the new recommended Herb shop and ask if we can have our pulses read and tongue’s examined. A woman tells us to wait and she’ll be right back. Tara motions to the wooden drawers and points to the sign. Reminding me that I mentioned all sorts of details in her psychic reading. I was telling her she needed to try some Chinese remedies. That is what started the seedling of an idea to gravitate toward Chinatown. We discuss how happy we are as Tara pours us hot green tea from the guest waiting table.

Soon an older gentleman appears, and spends 30 minutes talking with each of us, he writes in beautiful hieroglyphs across the page. The writing is a work of art, as he scripts helpful antidotes for our aches and complaints.

He leaves his desk and begins measuring out this and that. Taking time to weigh everything carefully and thoughtfully. Tara mentions that it’s ‘excellence in graceful motion’. He adds the herbs to butcher paper, it begins to look like a package of potpourri. It doesn’t smell so good though as the wafting blend fills our nostrils. And it takes several repetitive tries to get the difficult cooking instructions in our brain-order.

A woman shopping in the store comes over and says she’s been seeing the herb guy for 15 years and speaks of different techniques and practices in the area.  Tara and I tell her how pleased we are with our own personal tea blends. The whole process including the tea pot has cost each of us $25.00 and $30.00.

We are enjoying the streets and shops, when all of a sudden some guy gooses me in the buns while walking by. I jump with shocked surprise. Undaunted, it’s time to search for fantastic food and we’re not disappointed, (oh so yummy). On the way to the car we pass a bakery and cannot resist the temptation to enter. We see lotus cakes and we both purchase some. I have yet to try it. I’m thinking I might need to do a little ritual with this cake, that’s made from the seeds of the flower of enlightenment. Create a special little ceremony with my tonic tea, eating a magic donut to help wash down the curing elixir. I’ll let you know how good it tasted.

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Ten Chain Co, Broadway, Los Angeles Chinatown

April 8, 2010
The Tea
Okay, I’ve consumed three cups of tea. I know you’re not feeling ‘pity’ for me, but you would if you were drinking it too. Tomorrow evening is my last tea, the fourth cup. The first night getting the tea down was rough, at the end it felt like a feat, as though I’d been rewarded. I kept telling myself hot creek water is good.  The other two cups of tea have been bearable,  I’m on a roll. Of course I’d recommend it to anyone. It’s my personal herbal RX and I’m hoping it cures ‘anything and everything’. After I drink the tea, I add a little prayer of thanks and then have my lotus flower pastry. The taste is delightful.

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