Day Twenty Four, Austin

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I let myself sleep in a little later today, after an evening of drinking beer it felt good not to get up so early. Breakfast was a much better experience today, I had already met most of the people and so felt relaxed and talkative. There was a little queue for the pancakes and Travis offered to make me some. When I saw his efforts I politely declined and made my own. Nothing beats a pancake with butter and syrup. Over breakfast we discussed what everyone had been up to and it sounded as though the pub crawl was really fun. Perhaps if I were to come again to Austin then I would.

We all chilled outside and tried to figure out what to do today. It was hot and I wanted to be outside and enjoy the Sun on my skin. Jamie suggested we go to graffiti park and get some spray paint to make some art. He assured us it was a fifteen minute walk. It took far longer of course. Seven of us journeyed in the heat, stopping repeatedly on Guadalupe Street to pick up supplies. Only three of us actually bought paint; Armando, Jamie and I. I chose a vibrant blue, they selected black and yellows. We talked amonst ourselves, Jamie and I spoke about queer and homeless issues.

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Graffiti park was a great sight to behold, like a ruined castle whose walls have been covered in a multitude of colours. I bet that the walls had grown from the layers of paint coating them. Ethan had brought some old event posters that we could cut to make stencils. We stood in a line under the trees on the far side, the only shade available as we prepared to paint. Jamie and Ethan finished theirs quickly and moved to paint. Armando and Matt waited patiently as I snipped at the old band poster. I struggled to cut through the folds so Armando used a box cutter for me. When I was done, I gathered up the scraps (I don’t like to litter) and we headed to the top to have a go. Everyone seperated off and did their own thing for a while. Except to swap different colours. Following Jamie’s lead I got some little stones to hold my stencil in place and sprayed. I used some yellow aswell as blue and it looked kind of cool but it wasn’t what I wanted. I tried again before realising I needed more of a blank slate to do it on. I painted a rectangle with black, when it dried I went over it with my blue. Then put my stencil in place and used yellow. I really liked the effect it made but I probably could’ve used a lighter touch.

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Armando was really good, he could freehand lots of different things. I especially liked his cat and butterflies. Some kids asked if they could use one of our paints and we gave them a yellow. They drew a shit looking tag and then started drawing dicks on a white whale. Travis then took the paint back off them.

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Ethan was starting work at 4 so we headed back towards the hostel, he and Armando chose to get the bus whereas the rest of us walked. We ended up breaking off more as Sabrina and Matt looked at restaurants and Travis went to get cheap grub. I had my skype date with Jonny to look forward to when I got back to the hostel. I was getting really hungry so I had to cut it a little short which I felt bad about it. Sabrina and Matt came with me to Fat Sal’s.

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The server recognised me from yesterday and I got extra cheese on my fries. Matt’s interesting, I would never have thought that working for a car rental company would make it easier to travel. Jamie happened to swing by and also sat with us. I think Fat Sal’s must get alot of people from the hostel visiting. We all headed back to the hostel and I had a lush shower and slowly began to pack. I had new dormmates and we started talking. Sabrina came in to say goodbye as she was going to her friend’s gig and not staying at the hostel. It was sweet of her to do so. Once I had done all I could, I met up with the guys in the kitchen and we went for a drink at Hole in the Wall.

Jamie snuck me two drink badges. Gemma, Armando and Jamie all wanted to play pool, I was very reluctant but they persuaded. I got tips off Gemma and Armando but I was still shit. I lost both of the games I played and it ended with Gemma and I practising. Gemma is from London and had been studying at Harvard. I think that is amazing; it triggered a thought of why don’t I study in the States. Jamie’s ex came to the bar with her friends so he went over to see them. I asked Gemma about how you apply to do it. More people from the hostel came to the bar so I hung out with them and had another drink. For reasons of people going to the restroom or to get another drink I was left looking after the bags. I was quite content to do so as two drinks had gone to my head, Americans put a lot of liquor in them. I must’ve looked a little lonely as Jamie called me over to sit with his group. Gemma came and joined us but by a weird coincidence she had just been staying at the same hostel as that group. The world is so much smaller than you’d expect it to be.

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I’d started drinking water but Jamie gave me another drink token and I thought why the hell not and ordered a whiskey and coke. The bartender was such a nice lady, it felt so homely in this bar. I said hi to Campbell (the guy who liked British TV) when I was inside. When I came back outside Jamie’s friends had started to leave and a guy with an old black labrador sat next to us. I stroked behind the dogs ears and felt it relax next to me. I love dogs and being next to one made me miss my own. I asked Jamie if he had any weed to mellow me out and he went through each of his jacket pockets untill he found enough to make a small roach. We shared it as I stared up into the sky; I didn’t want to leave Austin yet I was having too much fun. It succeeded in making me tired so I went back to the hostel. People came with me and we sat in the common room together and talked about our nights whilst I sipped another glass of water. It was about 3am at this point and I thought there was no way I can get a bus in a few hours. I quickly purchased a ticket for a later bus and messaged my mam to update her. I expected to fall asleep quickly but I felt wide awake.

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