Day Twenty Three, Austin

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Breakfast was a little awkward, there wasn’t anybody I recognised and they were being so quiet. I ate a little toast before deciding screw it, I want a big breakfast.

The rain was lashing down outside, I was surprised that it could rain so heavily in Texas. There was a well recieved diner a couple of blocks away. I braved the rain, I am English after all. I accidentally stepped in a puddle and with a shock felt the water flood into my trainer. There was a queue at the Kerbey Lane Diner but as I was there alone, I was able to get a seat at the bar. I ordered scrambled eggs with hash potatoes, toasted muffin and tomatoes.

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It was good, the potatoes were especislly great and it was nice to have a big breakfast for a change. The latte I ordered was huge, I later found out there are free refills. There is only one person I know who could handle that much coffee. As it was still raining I decided to visit the Harry Ransom Center. It wasn’t far away as it was just in the UT campus. Only the downstairs was meant for general visitors and there were two exhibitions on display; Shakespeare and modern American Photography. There were some books that had been printed in the 1600s which was cool. There was a cute little section about various noted productions. Do American students study Shakespeare as much as the English do?

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The modern American Photography exhibition was inspiring, there were artists who were being playful and destructive with the medium. It was very different to what I have seen in other photography exhibitions. I talked to a security guard at length about the photography and he told me why he takes photos. He and his partner are in a long distance relationship and they send each other photos of the moon. How beautiful and romantic is that! The ladies at the front desk suggested that I go to the Blanton Museum of Art as it was free and there was a Peruvian Photography Exhibition. In return I suggested they go see The Lobster at a movie theater.

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The second museum felt like it was trying to cater to everyone; I’m not interested in paintings of Jesus or Mary sadly. The modern art it did have was varied and provicative. The atrium had been filled with a vast amount of blue tiles in stunning shades. It looked like I was sat at the bottom of a giant pool. I loved it, it was such an immense and immersive piece.

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The Sun had finally came out and to try and hide from the heat I went to and got an ice cream samdwich between two fresh cookies. Oh my it is drool worthy and sublime. I chose PB&J and Moose Tracks ice cream to go inside the choc chip cookies. It was slightly hipster inside as I sat on an indoor swing eating it. I enjoyed it regardless. I looked in the shops on the way back to the hostel and bought a little bag from an Urbies (sale).

I got back to the hostel and thought this will probably be the perfect time to do my washing. Jamie was working so he showed me how the machine worked. Sabrina had came back from her day of interviews and joined us in the kitchen. We talked whilst my clothes span. Sabrina was fascinated by Geordie slang so I tried to teach her some. It was hilarious hearing them with an American accent. It seemed unnatural sounding but it’s crazy that in the UK we have more regional accents that in a country as big as America. Once my clothes had finished being washed and dried I went back to my dorm room to fold and sort my clothes without flashing everyone my knickers.

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Afterwards I went back to the kitchen, and asked if anyone fancied getting some food. Sabrina had already eaten but she was happy to keep me company. She recommended Fat Sals which was just round the corner from the hostel. I got a veggie burger and cheese fries for less than $10 and they were good. The portion sizes were massive. Armando came and sat with us, he ate half a wrap and said he was keeping the rest for later. That’s how big the portions were. Sabrina had to help me finish off the cheese fries. Armando left as he wanted to get ready for the bar crawl.

Sabrina and I stayed a while and talked some more. She suggested we get beers and sit outside and enjoy them. I wasn’t sure initially as I was so stuffed from the food but she won me over. We got Tangerine IPAs and joined the party. There were lots of people outside, some were playing beer pong, others playing pool and everyone else just sitting around the edges. I sat with Sabrina and Jamie. A little joint came our way and I happily did a toke. It had came from a young French guy. He didn’t speak very much, he seemed very bohemian and had long fingernails on one hand. A guy approximately in his 40s  came asked if he could join in with the pool and drinking. I automatically assumed he was a guest as nearly every hostel I’ve stayed at has had older people. The group who were doing the bar crawl left and a small few were left. Jamie and I took turns in choosing the music. We have similar tastes in music, we played alot of 80s music like The Smiths, The Cure, Jesus Mary Chain. I sang along (badly) and was having a lot of fun.

The older guy seemed to take a liking to Sabrina at least initially untill she told him where to go. Then he started to turn a bit nasty. He took great offence at her hoodie which had 666 on it. I didn’t even notice that it did, her brother is in a metal band and it was one of his merch. Jamie took him for a walk to try and cool him off. He came back, apologised and said he was the ArcAngel Michael and wanted to protect me. He left and we quickly went upstairs to the hostel. About ten minutes later he came back, banging on the walls demanding his bag back. He had left it outside. I found out the next morning, he had smashed one of the benches outside in frustration. I haven’t told my mother about this as I’m sure she’d worry. I didn’t feel in danger and even though the next day I saw him briefly he apologised again and then left the bar immediately. I slept easily, the incident hadn’t disturbed me.

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