I got a message from Tone earlier today suggesting that we go to the Night Noodle Markets. As anyone from Sydney will tell you, today was blisteringly hot with extremely high winds, so when we left my place I left wearing a tshirt and sunglasses. We jumped in a cab and asked him to take us to the Domain. Halfway there, Tone had a pang of doubt:
‘I hope it’s at the Domain…’
‘You’re not sure?’
‘I think it said Domain… It could have been Botanic Gardens tho…’
Now, as many of you will know, I’ve inherited a disease from my father called OCOD, or Obsessive Compulsive Organisation Disorder. Which means that if I organise a night out with friends, there’s photoshopped invitations, reminder messages, topographic maps and global positioning systems. Tone on the other hand, is totally free from OCOD.
‘Where did you hear that it was in the domain?’ I asked
‘On a banner… I think’
‘This is going to be like that time we went to Bondi markets on the day when there are no markets isn’t it?’
‘We’re gonna be eating maccas tonight for sure’
As we stepped out of the cab, our stomach’s rumbled simultaneously. Our eyes scanned the horizon. No noodles. No noodle markets. We saw a portly man running, ‘Look, he’s going to get noodles for sure’. I wasn’t so certain. We tracked down Tone’s informative banner, which indeed said that the markets were in the domain, and that they were on tonight. We did a lap of the domain but with no luck. The sun was getting lower and lower. All we could think about was noodles. The banner had told us that the Noodle Markets were on something called Tarpien Way, which comes off Macquarie Street. We decided to follow Macqaurie Street down to the Botanic Gardens.
By this time the sun had set, and the wind had turned cold. Under the dark old trees of the Botanic Gardens we suddenly felt like Sam and Frodo in Fanghorn Forest. ‘I’m hungry and cold Mr Frodo, how much longer is it to the Mordor Noodle Markets?’ Morale was low, I was beginning to think that we’d never find the Noodle Markets and that I’d have to kill Tone so I could eat his corpse to survive. We got lost, and discovered that we’d been walking in loops. Cursing ourselves, we stumbled upon a workman fixing a gazebo in the dark.
‘Excuse me mate, do you know where the noodle markets are?’
‘Nah, but someone else just asked the same thing, so you must be on the right track!’
We felt a renewed vigor now that we knew that the markets did actually exist. With a slight increase in pace we kept walking. Three minutes later we were back at the domain again. Not in the mood for any more strife, I asked a passing mother w/ pram if she knew of the magical Noodle Markets of Mordor. She did, and offered to lead us there. Turns out it was in the botanic gardens, down near the Opera House. The stupid banner was wrong all along.
We were a sorry sight entering the markets, shivering and sniffling in our skimpy tshirts. We checked out the stalls. By this time it was totally dark, the wind was howling and it was damn, damn cold. We bought noodles and ate them on the damp grass because there weren’t any free tables. I have never eaten noodles so fast in my life. It was all over in about 30 seconds. Then we got a cab and came back to my place.
I think Tone summed it up best when, after finishing his noodles, he said: ‘Worst coldest windiest noodle markets ever!’