Kel’s deep disappointment with my knife-wielding skills – combined with a offer too good to refuse (50% off!) – allowed me to extend my birthday still further, and head along (last night) to a cooking course being held over in Glebe.
Knowing that I had until 6:30pm to get to that part of Glebe that is really too far from Broadway, and has views that are a little too good, to be easily accessible by public transport, I left work late – I know, not the smartest choice, but this was one of those days where a pile of work arrived at the end of the day – and then ran halfway across central station.
I had enough change in my pocket to buy a light rail ticket, but wasn’t convinced that a tram would make the journey quickly enough, nor that I would be able to find the destination in the dark, in a foreign part of Glebe, with minutes to spare, so I opted for the taxi rank instead. Straight into a taxi, still out of breath from the run, I showed the taxi driver the map that I’d printed from the website, and we were off.
As I caught my breath, we talked about the cross-city tunnel, how likely it was that I’d get to the course on time, and his idea of basic cooking – a lot more advanced than my idea of basic cooking. Were it not for a “Consuming Passions” recipe that was on while I was at the doctors’ office, I wouldn’t have recognised the name of the dish at all!
By 6:26 – according to the dashboard clock on the taxi – we reached the spot that was circled on the map in the website: it looked like a cross between a construction site and a car-park: certainly there would be no cooking here tonight.
I repeated the name of our destination, and he opined that it was a block or so further back, but he’d followed the internet map rather than his own intuition. A quick three point turn and $15 later, I was standing at the locked gate of the cooking school venue.
I asked a stranger at the gate “Cooking course tonight?”, and was instructed to cut through the basketball court to gain access to the venue – a former High School.
No signage to indicate a course, but the two young men waiting for their Badminton match to start suggested that someone had been unloading cooking supplies from a van somewhere in the direction of the road: a couple of wrong turns, another request for directions and I was back on the street, walking around the building.
By now, the only indication that I was on the right track was an illuminated classroom I’d seen from the taxi – it looked like it was the right venue – there were cooking implements, and even an espresso machine.
6:38pm; having failed to find any unlocked door into the venue, or any signage to suggest a course being offered, I used my mobile phone as a torch to read the single phone number from my confirmation letter.
With bated breath, I dialed it, and… it was busy.
Voicemail for a real estate agent followed – sure enough, I’d transposed a couple of digits, and dialed the wrong number.
More torch antics, another phone number dialled, and I was talking to a person: I asked if the person had anything to do with the cooking course, and he said yes, and then (to my disappointment and relief) “didn’t you get the email we sent last week to say tonight’s course had been cancelled?”
I hadn’t. He was sure that he’d sent it out, and we agreed to disagree on the matter.
All’s well that ends well. It turns out that he’d mixed me up with another dave, and we’ve now sorted out a replacement course date, and even a bonus course, to help me catch up with the cooking skills of the taxi driver.