The girls enter a tea house, where they meet their instructor, Yoko Takahasi. And how awesome would it have been if it were Yoko Ono? She would have given the lesson with a series of high-pitched "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!"s, and then doused their naked bodies in honeyed tea, demanded that they be absolutely still, and filmed them for six hours while delighting in the flies that feasted on them. And believe me, six hours of fly-covered naked models would have seemed like warp-speed excitement compared to the forthcoming segment on the tea ceremony.
Amanda says that a top model must be respectful of the culture she is in, that the tea ceremony has been in existence for thousands of years, and that it doesn't get any better than that. I think it's only been around for so many years because it takes so freaking long to do. It's like an ancient sage wrote, "500 tea ceremonies will bring true enlightenment to the earth," but after 3,000 years they're only on number 25. Imagine how cold that tea must get. Maybe that's how iced tea was invented. Norelle says that Japan, and Japanese anything, is like space. She means like outer space, not the space between her ears. Yoko teaches the girls how to enter the tea room, and Norelle accurately observes, "Opening a sliding door in Japan seriously takes five minutes." There are all kinds of rules about eating the sweets, and what order you go in, and what you do with your utensils afterward (and it looks like you put them in your kimono -- I knew that there had to be something hidden in those big-ass sleeves!). It is very rude just to bite the sweets, apparently. And it is this point which perhaps caused the initial rift between Ann and Eva.
Amanda says that she has a sense of otherworldliness and calm about her (chalk it up to the crystals, my friends), but that the other girls aren't so much absorbing the Japanese culture. While Yoko describes what to do with the tea bowl, I paint an exact reproduction of the Mona Lisa, re-learn calculus, and take a short nap. Snooooore. Can't they, like, use the powers of CGI to add the Dormouse to the gathering?
And then, fucking Yaya. She says that Norelle seems to have an aversion to anything foreign. She adds, "I travel the world and people tell me all the time how respectful I am, and how humble a person I am." Is she being sarcastic? First of all, who starts any sentence with, "I travel the world"? It's okay if you're, like, Ernest Hemingway or Jane Goodall or, perhaps, the rebel billionaire, but that's about it. And I am so sure that people (other than her obviously delusional family) tell her all the time how great she is. She can barely even walk down the street, what with all strangers remarking on her remarkable humility! ["Yeah, I would think that an Ivy League graduate would be able to appreciate the irony of someone bragging about how humble she is." -- Wing Chun] Meanwhile, I'm willing to bet that Yaya gets quite a different earful from passersby these days. Also? Umeboshi.