When my little brother has a regular check-up of his heart condition, I accompany him to the hospital with my mother. It’s now a familiar drive, out of our community of tiny, half-dilapidated apartments, down the hill, past the art gallery, cross the river, then up a narrow rocky passage before coming out right in front of the large hospital building.
At the end of my brother’s check-up, we collect his prescribed medicines from a pharmacy across the street. The pharmacy has recently opened, and my mother chooses this one because the place is clean and spacious, making it a better place for us to spend the long waiting time.
The pharmacy is usually quite deserted when we visit during the day. Facing the counter, there are several rows of long benches and one television. While my mother sits on one of the benches and watches the TV, my brother and I circle around the room under the name of exploration.
On one end of the waiting room is a complimentary tea service. There is a pile of small paper cups and a tea dispenser. To my delight, this tea dispenser offers two tea options. One is green tea, and the other one is something I haven’t heard of. When I press the button, brown-coloured tea comes out, and a wonderful fragrance tingles my nose.
“This is my favourite tea!” I declare after taking a sip.
My brother and I make multiple trips to the tea dispenser during our time at the pharmacy. I wonder if my mother will scold me for drinking so much tea, but with her gaze fixed on the TV screen, she doesn’t seem to mind as long as we remain quiet.
From that day on, I look forward to visiting the pharmacy, the place where I can drink my favourite tea in the world.