bubble tea

You know what I could really go for right now? Bubble tea.

I look at the clock. What time is it? 9:48. Shit. Nothing’s going to be open.
It’s South Bay. Everything closes at 9.

I do a quick Google search. Bubble Tea Sunnyvale. There’s one result:

Tea Zone - Mountain View: Open Until 11.

Scoooore. But wait, there’s a problem: I don’t leave the house after 8PM.

I get hit with a wave of inertia around then. Maybe it’s because it gets cold
and dark outside really quickly. Or maybe it’s because I’m lazy. Who knows.
Either way, I have two options:

  1. Don’t leave, finish that laundry you’ve been putting off, then go to sleep.
  2. Leave, brave the cold, acquire bubble tea, die in eternal happiness.

I weigh these two options very carefully. It’s 9:52 now. I could spend an
eternity basking in the indecision.

But you know what? I could use a little spontenaiety. Fuck it. We eatin’
tonight.

So I put on some pants and a t-shirt (after which there is no turning back) and
embark on my quest. The first thing I notice? It’s quiet outside. Reaaaal
quiet. Almost too quiet. A night-creature (squirrel? opossum?) rustles a bush
right outside my apartment building. That rustle serves as a reminder that I
am not the only living being in South Bay.

Google Maps tells me it’ll take me seven minutes to walk there. I begin the
trek. It’s not a terribly exciting trip, but there’s something about being
alone that forces you to pay closer attention to the details around you.
How the tree branches extend in the darkness. How the Safeway logo
simultaneously looks like an S and a winding road. How no one appears to be going
southbound on El Camino Real at this hour.

Eventually, I reach The Tea Zone. Google did not lie - they were open. In fact,
maybe too open. Twelve others pack the small storefront, all itching to get
their late night bubble tea fix. But no one is ordering. Everyone just stares
up at the menu, weighing their options. Small? Medium? Regular? Taro? Boba?
Mango Jelly?

The clerk says she can help whoever is next. All eyes turn to me.

“Uh, you can go. We don’t know what we want yet.”

Honestly, I don’t know what I want either. But the opportunity for spontenaeity
is thrust upon me, so I grab it.

I confidently walk up to the clerk. I will have…

Then, there’s a moment of pause. So many options. I can feel my
natural instincts kick in. I shake it off.

“I’ll have a regular milk tea, medium, with boba please.”

Phew. What a whirlwind. I never make a decision that quickly.

“How sweet would you like it? 25%? 50%? 75%? 100%?”

Oh god. Decisions. Nooooooooo! I shake it off again.

“50% please”.

The exchange is done in about 32 seconds. But unbeknownst to the clerk, I have
just performed a herculean task, for great reward. And for it, I must pay a
heavy price.

The price is… four dollars. Why does milk tea cost four dollars?

I collect the sweet sweet tea (okay, it was half sweet), then return home.
I can’t help but smile. It’s a beautiful night. I have bubble tea. And
the best part? I tried something new.

Who cares if it’s the most basic thing on the menu?