Day Thirty Eight, Nashville

I woke up at six in the morning; the blinds in the dorm room offered no protection from the rising sun.  I remembered that the British girls I’d met in New Orleans had mentioned that they had woke up early when they stayed in Nashville, I understood why now.  I lay in bed, sending messages to my friends and family back home.  I didn’t leave my little fort until seven thirty as firstly, I didn’t want to be a dick to my dorm mates and more importantly, I didn’t want to get up.  I did manage to figure out where I was going to go for breakfast and what my main activity would be today.

I desperately wanted a shower after yesterday’s coach journey; I managed to snag the disabled shower room, which had a lock on the door. The other showers available were plastic curtain cubicles adjacent to the toilet cubicles.  I have learned that I am happy to share bathrooms with others but I like to be able to do my thing in a room to myself.  After San Francisco’s potentially creepy incident in the bathroom of my hostel, I like to be in a locked room.

It had been a little tricky to find vegetarian options in downtown Nashville; it just seemed to have many basic US chains that tend to only cater to vegetarians with sides.  I decided on the Frothy Monkey as it was ten minutes away from my hostel and it did a vegetarian waffle breakfast.  As I walked towards the café I reflected on my surroundings, I don’t know if the city was going through regrowth or under a lot of construction as it felt like it was decaying ever so slightly.  It looked as though only really catered towards a party scene which is cool but not always what I fancy.

Frothy Monkey was a nice café; it was busy with lots of options on the menu and at a reasonable price.  I ordered the waffles with peppered tofu and lots of fruit.  The photo makes it seem like a better breakfast than the reality.  The syrup was definitely not maple or natural in anyway.  The fruit sadly was bland.  I ate most of it but I was disappointed in it, my coffee had been really good and the food had looked so tasty when it arrived.

My main activity today was going to the Country Music Hall of Fame because why wouldn’t you when in Nashville?  I only knew a handful of country music artists as it isn’t really a big music scene in the UK, we have folk music which in my mind could be considered similar but I’m probably just offending music aficionados.  Google maps said it was a thirty minute walk away which seemed reasonable to me but the heat was punishing that day.  It was so unbelievably hot, not as humid as New Orleans but I feared for my pale-skinned ass.  Therefore, I kept popping into music bars on my way to CMHF, I enjoyed the music and it’s cool that the bars have live bands so early in the day.

The Country Music Hall of Fame is huge, in the entrance hall there were hundreds of people and it was only 11am.  I joined a queue to purchase an entrance ticket before joining another queue to properly enter the hall of fame.  I was taken up in a lift to where the history of country music was explored, just past the Taylor Swift Education Center.  I learned quickly that I didn’t know anything about country music and instead I read all the plaques or listened in to people’s conversations when they were gasping at an exhibition.  There were loads of cool stuff that I could still appreciate/ understood their significance in the American music history.  As demonstrated by the pictures I took below:

It was a well balanced museum as there were a variety of different exhibits and a lot of interactive things to do, such as, record and mix yourself singing a Taylor Swift song.  I spent longer than I should I admit to singing along in a little booth and stopping children from having their turn.  I was glad to have visited the CMHF as I learned a lot about country music, it was a fun way to spend a few hours in Nashville.

Finding somewhere to go for lunch was again proving quite tricky, I realised that going to an upmarket/ hipster coffee shop might be the easiest way for me to find something vegetarian and tasty.  I had to walk outside in the crazy heat once more to get to Crema, the CMHF had been an air conditioned dream.  The baristas were really friendly, there was outdoor seating available but nobody was sat outside – it was that hot!  They had coffee soda on the menu and intrigued, I asked for a glass alongside a slice of their veggie quiche.  The coffee soda was sadly not a good choice, I’m not the biggest fan of fizzy drinks so maybe other people would enjoy it more.  It tasted weak and as if there was no real coffee in it.  The quiche was nice, a little soggy but filling.

There wasn’t much else I had planned for today so I went back to the hostel. Joe was playing pool with a couple of guys and I joined them, swiftly losing a doubles game in the process.  We just chatted to one another about where we were from, why we were travelling and where we were next heading.  Edwin was from New York and gave me some advice about where to go on a night out that wasn’t touristy.  The group expanded until there were about eight of us sat around the sofas, cheerfully talking.  There was only one other girl, one of the guys was Irish and upon hearing I was from Newcastle was asking about how much I partied – not much.  

I was starting to get hungry again and persuaded some of the group to go for food, the guys had already discussed this earlier and desperately wanted to go to a fried chicken place.  I was the only vegetarian and they realised that wasn’t going to be an option for me, Edwin and I looked on our phones for somewhere to go eat but couldn’t find anything that everyone would settle on.  It got to the point where as a group we decided to just have a walk around the area and see if we could find somewhere suitable.  We settled on Italian Kitchen, which was empty when we walked in; we ordered four pizzas between the eight of us.  I didn’t feel comfortable taking a photo of the food, and as I ate I realised I didn’t really want to spend any time with them.  I was quiet on the walk back as the guys had made sexist remarks at the Hooters when we walked past.  When we got back to the hostel, I said I was going to freshen up in my dorm and just ditched them.

I discussed how I felt with the Brazilian woman on my bunk in the room who was very understanding. I just didn’t want to spend time with people when I didn’t feel comfortable or if I disagreed with their actions.  And I realised I didn’t have to do anything I don’t want to, just because I was travelling alone didn’t mean I had to spend time with people when given the opportunity.  It was so simple but I could be as selfish as I wanted and that is ok.  Later on in the night, I did feel slightly bad when Joe and the Irish guy knocked on my dorm asking if I was coming out but I stayed behind and mostly, felt relief.  I was able to pack away my stuff and have an early night.


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