We started the day off earlier than one of us realised. I heard Don get up and he was not particularly quiet, so it woke me. I looked at the clock which said 5.34. That was late enough that I knew I wouldn’t get back to sleep so when he finished in the bathroom I got up and took my turn. Then I heard him exclaim ‘bloody hell, it’s only 5.58! Yes, darling, what time did you think it was? He thought it was an hour later.
Since we were up we went for a walk at first light so we could be back and shower and get to the market before the heat and crowds set in. On the walk we pass an old cold store that used to be a photography studio of a friend and we pass my former place of employment, the local TV station. As we walk down the street we pass various lots and Don describes to me what used to be there, or why he used to go there. After all, he came to Darwin in 1973, before Cyclone Tracy blew it all away! We pass the unit where a friend lived until just a few weeks ago when he moved away. And as we walk in the Botanic Gardens we talk about what it used to be like when we first came to Darwin, and how much better it is now. When did we get so old?
The visit to Parap Markets was another delicious foray into Asian food, a roti with rendang curry for Don, and Phad Thai with salad for me, and red papaya with fresh lime juice for both of us. We both saw people we know at the markets, and even Mary, who runs the soup stall, called out and waved to us. It almost felt like when we lived here over 20 years ago. We remember when the market consisted of four or five little stalls, each one selling only one thing, mostly food. In those days the choices were pawpaw salad, pumpkin and chicken noodle soup, Bobby’s Indonesian satay and Gado Gado, and sometimes a little craft stall, or a guy who sold local honey. As the years wore on more stalls set up and the choice became harder, but it was a well entrenched Saturday morning ritual for us and many people we knew. Now it is a large market with probably 35 different stalls, all selling multiple things ranging from foods to gifts, jewellery, clothing and flowers.
After eating we both read for a while and then we both had a nap! A nap before lunch? Oh yes… after all, that nostalgic journey was very tiring!!