At the end of the road trip of incredible length and foolish decisions (well one foolish decision, namely Shreveport. All other decisions were of practically genius level excellence) we finally arrived in Austin. Austin is like San Francisco, but in Texas. So its filled with hippies and vegan ice cream parlours, but also with people in cowboy hats wearing blue jeans and covered in tattoos. Personally, I find the combination most refreshing. Perhaps as a result of living in the wanky part of Brooklyn, which is filled with the kind of hippies that spend an hour on their hair to make it look suitably messy and live in dread of breaking a nail, and that’s just the men.
I have been informed by pretty much everyone who has spent time in Texas that Austin is the cool bit, and by all accounts resembles the rest of Texas about as much as Milton Keynes resembles a real city. I don’t know how true this is, as so far that is the limit of my Texas experience. But though I was in hippy central Texas-wise I still felt a very strong vibe, Texans are very proud of their state and definitely have their own idea about affiliation. As I was informed by multiple people, Texas used to be a country, and while in Austin there might be a lot more liberals that is still a popular statement.
I found people here absolutely amazing. Adjectives that come to mind include polite, hospitable, helpful and just generally incredibly friendly and considerate. These appear to be generally southern traits in any case, but frankly I just found everyone on the whole damn trip so charming I nearly puked. Contented charmed puke made of rainbows, naturally.
Mostly the GG and I just chilled here. We hung out, we ate, we went to bars, we ate more, went to more bars. The weather was mild but warm, the city was awesome, and personally I did not want to go home. We got the dueling piano dudes to play Bohemian Rhapsody, the German got hit on by a multitude of people she found unattractive (though I think this happens every day – why do I have so many attractive female friends? Couldn’t just one of them be less attractive than me?? Alas, my tastes in women are too discriminating for my own good), and we had great Mexican food and amazing Brazilian barbecue.
On my last night my traveling companion had already departed, and so I decided to venture out alone. My general policy of finding the dirtiest bar available and talking to random people until I get bored paid off handsomely, and I ended up drinking with a metal band, their girlfriends, and the Austin 6th street sex shop employees. I also ended up with a rather compromised liver, as it was one of those nights when you just forget there is a tomorrow, that hangovers exist, or that you have a plane to catch. Some hours later these 3 forgotten pieces of data combined in a crashing symphony of suffering and despair – never have I been so close to fainting while standing in line to check my bag in. I vowed never to drink again, which lasted the 5 hours til I arrived back at home and found a branch of the Cuban’s extended family partying in my living room, which is not a recipe for abstinence.
Someday I will take a holiday from which I do not feel like I need to recover using another holiday.