My whole life, I’ve been a Parap Markets girl. Childhoods were spent running wild on that little traffic island that, every Saturday, seemed to magically swell to accommodate the stalls and smells of market mornings. Tasting and trying, looking and listening, these were the little details that made up my youth. To me, Parap Markets is just a little piece of what makes Darwin home, even if I live somewhere else now. Parap Markets will always be a part of me, and when I return, it calls me home.
During my practical I’ve managed to make Parap Markets just as regular a trip as usual. When Saturday dawns, hot and bright, you’re pretty much guaranteed to find me there. Listening to South East Asian bartering and the hum of ice-crushing blenders making juice dreams into realities, the Saturdays seem to stretch out just a little more as my departure grows nearer. I try and eat my fill of Cambodian rice balls, Thai coconut layer cakes, Lebanese zatar and haloumi wraps and Vietnamese rice paper rolls. Sucking down on watermelon juice doesn’t do much for the heat, let’s be honest, but it sure does make that humidity just a little bit sweeter.
Life in Darwin is not so different from Parap Markets when I stop to think about it. Multi-cultural chaos, a tsunami of delicious global flavours, and a spot that seems that much bigger once you’re in the middle of it!
I’ve written on Parap Markets before, but I feel like there are still more angles to capture, more little stories to tell. I don’t think I’ll ever stop returning to Darwin, even if those visits might get further and further apart. When I do come back, when the tropics catches hold of me again even just for a visit, I know the first place I’ll be going!