All Aboard a Mobile Tea House
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All Aboard a Mobile Tea House


(door creaking open) – Imagine walking
down the sidewalk and you come across a
sign that says free tea, and you look in the door and there’s a
magical hobbit home. Everything in here would have been considered waste by someone at some point. The process of building this bus was to reincorporate
these waste things into this pile of trash that I call Edna. (tranquil music) – [Ally] I’m Ally. – [Guisepi] And I’m Guisepi. We’ve been on the road
together for about 5 1/2 years. After college, I moved into
a pickup truck and went to LA to work in the film industry, and I was working 50, 60,
sometimes 70 hours a week. I didn’t know anyone, I
didn’t have any friends, and so I just started going down to Hollywood Boulevard and opening the tailgate
of my pickup truck and cooking dinner. (dishes clanking) (lighting fire) (cracking eggs) And what I found is that when I pulled up my camp stove and started cooking dinner, people stopped and asked
me what I was doing, and I would always cook
a little bit of extra and invite them over to eat dinner with me. I started meeting people
of all walks of life, I had street kids hanging
out with TV producers and club promoters. To keep those interactions
going after dinner, I would just put the kettle on and make tea for hours. (kettle sizzling) And so I served tea on and off for about three months on
Hollywood Boulevard, and pretty soon
people were like, “Hey, when are you gonna
be serving tea again?” “Hey, it’s the tea man!”, “Hey, tea guy!” And I was like, ‘I don’t
even know if I like tea.’ But, I guess, I’ll
be the tea man. And then, about 10 years
ago, I bought this bus. I knew that it was going to
be a mobile, free tea house. – [Ally] The act
of serving tea is creating a point of
connection with another in that it wakes up this thing that we didn’t even know
they were missing. It’s offering up the ingredients of what inspires community. – [Guisepi] I hang
out for a few minutes. – [Bearded Man] How
did you guys wind up in this place? – I bought this bus in order to turn it
into a free tea house. A little, empty,
yellow school bus. – And then you
did all this work? – [Guisepi] I always
like to say the trees did most of the work. (laughing) And all the hard stuff. – There’s a theme here, it’s about generosity. – [Guisepi] Yeah.
– Generous to the trees. – Yeah, well they deserve
the credit, ya know? – I’ve talked to you
about meeting new people and then being in their spaces and, like, being a new guest. There’s something that’s really, really taxing for me… – Yup. Well, and that’s… – And when it becomes so many. – Yeah. I think that the road that you and I have
experienced is very different. (tranquil music) – [Ally] Spending the last five
years aboard the bus together. Now I’m daydreaming
about a stationary home and I realized the goal is to make a home that I feel is my own, that I can basically have a gathering space to share. – [Guisepi] I don’t think
that Ally has felt like the tea bus has been her home as much as I have felt
that its been home. (soft calming music) We are thinking about making a permanent home base. (stepping up stairs) What do you think Ally, is this a big
enough space up here for you and I to have
a little, tiny home? – [Ally] Yeah.
– [Guisepi] Yeah. – I think this could
work great for us. – To actually, physically
be in this space feels really nice. – Yeah, I just start to see visions that I have come alive. I see people hanging
out around the fire, I see people who want to
be in the kitchen together, preparing for the winter. I just start to see all
those things come alive, and I can feel that
while I’m in here. – We’re in this
really odd place. We’re hunkered in
for the winter, in this apartment
above my mom’s garage. I have my own internal
conflict going on of what… What life is, and what the next steps are. I built my home and lived in it for a decade in the tea bus, but being here has really allowed us to hunker in to a collaborative home space. – And that’s definitely
what I’ve been wanting. – [Guisepi] I don’t know
what the future holds. If we make home here, we would continue to go out on trips to serve tea, and to go places. – [Ally] And offer
the kind of generosity that’s been offered
to us on the road. (soft guitar music)

2 Comments

  • The Carla W

    What a beautiful way to share and grow unity in our communities. I am certain there is lots of compromise. My teenage son would be with me and it is something that I think of often. Your home is beautiful to me, because of the souls you've shared it with.

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