As someone who has now lived in Darwin for almost two years, I've managed to get my head around the majority of the Top End's quirks.
Can't swim in the ocean despite the heat because of man-eating saltwater crocodiles? Fine. Need to prepare for a potentially devastating cyclone every time the wet season rolls around? No worries.
But one thing about Top End living I still do not understand is the absolutely monumental obsession with laksa.
Don't get me wrong, I like laksa. And, thanks to Darwin's wonderful Southeast Asian immigrant community, we have some really excellent laksa.
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We even have a month-long laksa festival where people are encouraged to zip around the town, trying all the different laksas on offer before the purveyor of the Top End's favourite is awarded the coveted "Golden Bowl."
During this month, restaurateurs even branch out and make their own laksa flavoured dishes - I'm talking laksa burgers, laksa ice cream and even laksa liqueur.
People get into fierce arguments about which laksa is the best in town, staunchly advocating for their favourite to anyone who will listen.
All of this I completely endorse.
However, Darwin's favourite time to eat laksa is on a Saturday morning. For breakfast. At an outdoor market.
And not only that, a Saturday morning laksa is a beloved and widely-touted hangover cure.
This, I simply do not understand.
Personally, if I wake up hungover on a Saturday morning, with the temperature outside at 34C by 8am, the very last thing I want to do is wait in an enormous line for a bowl of spicy soup which I would then proceed to eat while sitting in the blazing sun on a rickety plastic chair.
And yet, it seems I am the only one who feels this way.
You can visit the Parap or Rapid Creek markets at any given time and you are guaranteed to see bleary-eyed people hunched over their bowls, noses running from the chilli and sweat dripping from their brow, eating laksa like it's their first meal in three days.
It doesn't matter if it's the middle of the build up, when simply leaving the air conditioning for a casual stroll leaves you dripping in sweat, or in the middle of a wet season storm, people still flock to eat the stuff every week without fail.
Personally, I'd rather eat laksa in a nice air conditioned restaurant overlooking the ocean, and not after having just vomited in the shower.
To try to gain a better understanding of this bizarre ritual, I asked my friend Will who is the biggest laksa fanatic I know.
To give you an idea of just how much he loves it, every year, Will does a tour of all of the laksa joints in Darwin and rates them against several self-prescribed categories.
He said his love for laksa isn't just for the food itself, but what it represents.
"It's something that's both familiar and something that isn't super regular in peoples lives before they come to Darwin, but once they have lived in the Top End, Laksa becomes representative of their relationship with Darwin - foreign but familiar."
Pretty poetic stuff.
Maybe, my relationship to laksa will evolve like my relationship to Darwin. When you first try it, all you can think about is how hot it is. And then all of a sudden, you can't imagine life being any other way.
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