J'ai fini le pavé. Pendant ces 47 jours, j'ai appris
- que je ne devais pas lire ce livre toute une journée sous peine de passer une nuit blanche
- que je pouvais sauter les pages consacrées au jeu T'rain... et aussi celles qui détaillaient les très nombreuses armes utilisées, leur cran de sûreté, leurs munitions, alouette!
- que je pouvais, à l'instar des personnages, dévaler, zigzaguer, prendre des raccourcis, ce que j'ai mis en pratique fréquemment dans la partie montagneuse et boisée du livre
et conclu que Zula avait perdu son kilo de thé acheté de Yuxia, probablement dès sa première évasion à Xiamen.
Il y avait finalement fort peu de thé dans ces mille pages. Après l'extrait fourni par Thomas, le plus précis fut celui-ci:
Meanwhile, just next to them, men were making tea. Zula had been here long enough to recognize all the elements of the ritual. The local procedure involved a lot of spillage, which here was taken care of by a baking sheet that looked as if it had once been used as a shield by riot police. A flat perforated rack was set into this, and resting on the rack were tiny bowls, smaller than shot glasses, old and stained. It seemed terribly important to the men on the boat that Zula accept one of them and drink. So this she did. The first sip of tea only reminded her of how desperately thirsty she was, so she tossed the rest of it back; when she set the bowl down, it was replenished immediately. Yuxia was next. Then Jones had his. Apparently they were considered guests.She had never really understood the tea thing until this moment. Humans needed water or they would die, but dirty water killed as surely as thirst. You had to boil it before you drank it. This culture around tea was a way of tiptoeing along the knife edge between those two ways of dying.The men on the vessel were not Middle Eastern and they were not Chinese, but depending on how light and emotion played over their faces, they showed clear signs of both ancestries.
Neal Stephenson Reamde 2011
Et la toute dernière mention de thé en page 895:
They took a little break at the mine's exit to enjoy the view, to set the last booby trap, to brew tea, to pray, and to try to get phone reception.
J'ai apprécié doublement que Tching parle de la Tea Industry Fair qui s'est déroulé à Xiamen les 10 et 11 octobre (le Darjeeling y avait un nom chinois): Gu lang yu évoque Olivia et Sokolov pour moi maintenant.