Vladimir Nabokov Reviews His Favorite Boba Place


Bubble tea, thrill of my afternoon, cooling of my tongue. My mouth, my mind. Bub-ble-tea: the bounce and blow of my lips taking a trip to the tilt of my tongue back to tap at the teeth on three. Bub. Bull. Tee.

It was boba, exotic boba, the first time, standing at a curious kiosk in the afternoon sun with misspelled words in its sign. It was milk tea in a tall cup with cartoon plastic film on top. It was taro tea on the dotted line when I swiped my card. But in my mouth, it is always bubbly bubble tea.

Did it have a precursor? In point of fact, it did. There might not have been a bubble tea at all if I had not loved and then lost, one summer, a certain satisfactory Jamba Juice. On a street with a view of the sea. Oh when was that? About an hour longer than it should have been between me and my breakfast. You can always count on a writer to ignore hunger until it becomes a panic and then choose poorly when the time comes.

Ladies and gentlemen of Yelp, exhibit one is what the misinformed people assume is a smoothie. Those noble passerby, the uninitiated who seize not upon the glory; the sip and the suck, the syrupy swallow in this silken slurpee, and I the slurper. They know not that they should envy what pleasure is mine alone.

Look at this pile of receipts.


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