One day, I took a taxi home.
(Many a strange story has begun with that line, I imagine.)
The driver was silent throughout most of the drive, which was bizarre in itself. Then, about halfway to my house, without speaking a word, he pulled over on the side of the road next to a small tea stand. Once we’d stopped, he reached behind my seat and retrieved a small plant with a six-inch tall stalk and leaves. He held it out to me and said, “Smell.” So I smelled it. Then he said, “Hold.” So I held it. He left the car.
I sat alone for some time, staring at the unexpected foliage in my hands. When the driver returned, he had a cup of tea. He took the plant from me and stuck it into his tea cup stalk first, like a flower in a vase. “Very good,” he declared. Then we drove the rest of the way home.