A noodle story

I was watching a movie about noodles yesterday (seen it countless times, and it still always makes me hungry) and had a craving for some but didn’t have any. At lunch today, I fancied some noodles again but the nearest noodle bar was just that bit too far away. Third time lucky (in a manner of speaking), I went to my meditation group tonight, and they were unusually talkative — someone mentioned noodles.

So I thought: That’s it. Time to have some. When the session ended, without thinking, I announced aloud: ‘I’m going for noodles. Does anyone want to come?’ Only one guy said yes. (At this point, you need to know that the meditation group is largely a silent one. We sit in silence and hence know very little about each others’ personal lives). As soon as I dipped my chopsticks into the soup, the floodgates fell open: today was his birthday, it’s his 51st, he’s just moved into the city and selling up a couple of houses elsewhere because he’s just got divorced, it’s been a rough year, and… you get the picture.

All the while, I’m thinking, chewing on my pho: ‘Really, all I wanted was a bowl of noodles.’ How do these strays find me? And I even had to pay for his beer.

Should I have blurted out the invitation? Did Neptune retrograde in my third house cross a few wires somewhere? Did I fog up my boundaries?

In hindsight, my invitation was totally uncharacteristic — after meditation, people usually chat briefly then head off to wherever they needed to go; we don’t socialise as a group or individuals, and I suppose I’ve found out why!

Video: My favourite clip from Tampopo (Juzo Itami 1985)


3 Responses to A noodle story

  1. nray says:

    I enjoyed the video.

    Perhaps, the silver lining of what happened was that hanging out with you made that man’s evening. Since he was alone in a new city on his birthday.

    It’s good to see you writing again, Hitch. xxx

  2. hitchhiker72 says:

    Thanks, Neeti. It was a coincidence more than anything; I’m just over-sensitive to people dumping their baggage in my lap.

    Reminds me of a story someone once told about urban isolation:

    City man 1: Got a light?

    City man 2: No, I’m trying to quit.

    City man 1: I didn’t ask for your life story.


  3. Vivienne Grainger says:

    Sometimes, we are asked for unusual sacrifices. Yours was the attention you paid a lonely man. The price of the beer? Call it tithing.

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