Refrain: it's been a while.
It's been a long few weeks and now I resurface from the frenzy and flurry of Frieze. More like bobbing to the surface. Such is the energy-sapping nature of being alert at all times during an art fair. Don't get me wrong, it has been stimulating and invigorating. But now time for recharge.
Last night, for the first time in I don't remember, my trajectory was direct, straight home from work. It felt so foreign to return to joining the sea of commuters homebound to make dinner and relax. My mother flew in from Montreal to join in on the Frieze madness and it was a joy to share my daily life with her for a week-- but it too feels foreign to not have her in the same time zone, a tube ride away, to share a hug and debrief the day's activities. And now the return to the sometimes-solitary adult ex-pat life.
Today, I still felt drained; somehow I expected one night at home to act as complete recharge. Near the end of the afternoon, thinking of heading home and cooking, my lethargy kicked in, bemoaning -- or perhaps just whimpering -- to not being ready and not being up to the task. Solution? Soup. Noodles. Koya.
When I am feeling run down, my panacea has always been a good bowl of soup. I'm partial to a bowl of pho or a simple broth with thick fresh noodles. Koya, now expanded to have a bar neighboring its quaint ever-popular permanent-queue-outside restaurant, hits just the spot with its, dare I say it, scrummy noodles. The bar serves all the same fixing of the restaurant but somehow not everyone has gotten the memo. Maybe they remain steadfast to sitting at a table or honouring the original; meanwhile, I walked past the queue and right into a near-empty bar and ordered a bowl of solace, a bowl of recharge.
Fresh udon noodles, simple broth and some thinly sliced scallions served in a thick handmade ceramic bowl emanating heat.
I left the bar, packed full of people in the span of one bowl of soup, to head home, feeling refreshed and recharged.
I feel ready to re-embrace life's challenges and charge ahead with new energy. As the Koya website says in its charmingly badly translated mission statement, we 'believing in noodle power'. I believe.