To Stay On Track: Never Eat Shredded Wheat

Trip Start Jan 30, 2011
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Trip End Nov 16, 2011


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Flag of United States  , Texas
Sunday, September 18, 2011

Today was the day to explore South Congress Street, so after reciting 'Never Eat Shredded Wheat' to decipher where east was, I changed bus stops for the better, for the first time ever. I arrived on Congress and walked down to the cool part with a constant water-torture drip cascading down my chin as I did so, because of the unbearably humid temperature; you sweat so much in Austin that all your food ends up salty, whether you want it to or not. 

I arrived in a boutique to see a duo of disgusted faces; they didn’t even pretend to smile when I smiled at them, I felt like assuring them I wouldn’t try anything on, but instead walked around the shop with my head down to avoid catching any judgmental stares.  I was careful not to touch anything in case they berated me, and whilst one of them was happy when I purchased a postcard, the dreadlocked missus didn’t even feign interest in my being.  Yet another unhappy madam greeted me, or rather failed to, in the shop next door, luckily once again every Ying had its Yang and the other attendant was at least somewhat more polite.  Nothing like ignorance to make you feel worthless – yet again I felt like explaining myself and why I was so hot, but realised I was never going to see these people again so I could just be a ship in the night that was forgotten before the ink dried on the receipt.

The street did boast some very cool shops, even if some them were only so from the outside.  I considered going into ‘Allen’s’ to try on some cowboy boots, but following my heat and the previous looks I stayed out, saving boot shopping for another day.  The car park across from the shops had a variety of food carts like the ones over in Portland, many of which had stands at the ACL festival I’m in town for, but rather than try what was available at the festival I stopped off at the Cupcake trailer.  It was a space-like contraption that offered a ‘Michael Jackson,’ a cupcake that consisted of a chocolate cake with white cream cheese topping and a few chocolate sprinkles to mix it up once again.   Whilst very nice, it filled me up far more than I imagined and meant I wasn’t able to sample the other carts.  I instead opted to head back to the house and get a shower before our final visit to the festival, but the bus didn’t seem to want to arrive, and so after twenty minutes waiting with no shelter I figured I may as well just walk and get sweaty as stand still and do the same.  No bus went past when I started walking, so at least I knew it wasn’t personal. 

I popped into HEB, a grocery store similar to Wal-Mart, to buy a drink as my water had long gone, but the watermelon drink I purchased was too sweet, leading me to throw it away, which, for a girl whose main problem is not stopping eating and whose brother and sister-in-law bought her a book on how to be thrifty, is a big shock.   It may have put me in a sugar-induced coma as I was lulled into semi-sleep whilst waiting at the bus stop alongside the shop; fortunately the pins and needles in my feet woke me up when I shuffled them mid-snooze. 

Before the festival we headed over to Brenda and Carli’s local, Red’s, for some frozen margaritas, but they were so potent that my face contorted as I drank.  It was a nice setting though, one that overlooks Barton Creek, the creek that is so dry due to the drought you can walk from their house to Zilker Park, which is at least a mile. 

We parked up and walked to the festival for the final time, but with just breakfast and that cupcake to contend with the tequila and ice they called a margarita I needed more food and headed for some gyros, but whilst it was nice it wasn’t enough, and a ten minute queue ensued for a crunchy chicken and avocado cone at The Mighty Cone; who knew fried avocado could taste so good? 

We set up camp to watch Fleet Foxes, Empire of the Sun, Elbow, and Arcade Fire, positioning ourselves between the two stages so we wouldn’t have to move for the duration of the night.  The Sunday night line-up provided hours of chilled music for the last day, although I did have to don the London Bus Company poncho that’s accompanied me across South East Asia and North America over the past year. 

We didn’t contend with the others for a view, especially as it was so grey out anyway, and spent the majority of the time lying down to enjoy the music; with lights in the sky, good atmosphere it was a good way to spend a Sunday.  I opted for some coconut water after a while because of its BOGOF offer, but I should have told them no, as it was disgusting: it tasted like wet dogs smell.

We left after Arcade Fire; they concluded a good festival and a very cool city, one that’s definitely worth a visit if I’m in this neck of the woods again.   
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