Bonus Post: Other things I did in Austin

When I was on the plane flying into Texas, I was sitting next to a guy named Danny. Usually I don’t know the name of anyone else on a plane, but I learned his because he actually talked to me. That’s never happened before—someone making conversation on an airplane. He was an older man, and a traveling guitarist guy who was visiting his mother for the first time in 15 years. He was a nice dude, and we parted ways after the plane landed. But then, three days later, I was walking on the trail around the lake and an older man with a guitar strapped to his back biked past me and then stopped. He said, “Hey, nice to see you again!” And I said, “Oh hi! What a coincidence!” Except on closer examination, this guy was not Danny. And I was not who he thought I was. We had both mistaken each other for someone else, but I probably wouldn’t have thought that at all if he didn’t stop and turn around. This character was especially memorable because his fly was down, but I didn’t have the heart to tell him. But then the freakiest thing happened: he said, “Are you from Baltimore?” And I was like, “Yeah… how did you know that?” I guess that the other person he had happened to meet, who looked like me, was also from Baltimore. I never saw the real Danny again. I hope he and his mom are having a great time.

While I was walking around one night, I saw a homeless man sleeping on a bench across the street. A woman walked past him and said, “Hey sir, there’s a Starbucks right here, do you want me to buy you some coffee?” She was completely genuine and was just being a good Samaritan. That woman epitomized the people of Austin.

On the day that I went to see Dark Universe, I was asked at the ticket counter if I was a student. Apparently students get discounted tickets. I said, “I am a student, but not at University of Texas…” I couldn’t lie. But then the person at the counter said, “That’s okay.” And I continued to make my life more difficult: “I don’t even live in Texas,” I said. She said, “It’s fine. Do you have an ID card?” I almost continued to argue because I’m kind of not a student, as I’m actually a graduate student. But I showed my ID and got the discount, and was happy. Even so, the ticket came to $6, which was too much for a 20-minute documentary.

There were multiple houses along the street I was living on that had chickens. And they would cock-a-doodle-doo all day long, especially in the morning. The sound of a rooster was typically my wakeup call each day, which was kind of cool, and very unexpected in an urban environment.

A house down the street from me had a Donald Trump piñata. It was especially poignant because the neighborhood I was in was mostly people of Hispanic descent.

Oh, one last photo, that I couldn’t think of anywhere to post:

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There was this wall of Shy Guys (from the Super Mario series), and instead of the usual masks they wear, were wearing the faces of other videogame characters. Mega Man is my favorite game of all time, so I photographed this one.

Oh, and here’s a photo of a Squirrel, who, just before I took this photo, was furiously eating a potato chip. This was taken at the University of Texas campus, and was a pretty common sight. I am confident in saying that college campuses are havens for squirrels. Guess it makes sense that I, a guy named Squirrel, work at universities for a living.

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