I arrived in Austin the 6th of July and have been religiously exploring every corner of the city I can find, including incredibly questionable areas, but, hey, I’m down for whatever, as risky as that may be. I feel like I’ve barely scraped the surface and I always feel like I’m missing out on something I want to do because there are unconquerable lists of things to do any time of day, every day of the week.
Being the ridiculously random person I am, I’ve had some strange things happen to me thus far- but that’s to be expected. I drove from my hometown of Marietta, Ohio to Austin, which took about 20 hours. Before I’d even arrived in Texas, I had already been attacked by bed bugs at a Little Rock hotel. It was one of those “are you fucking kidding me?!?!” moments that I have to laugh at in retrospect. When I was finally about an hour away from Austin, I ran over a huge chunk of tire on the interstate which stayed with me, attached to the innards of my car, for the first few days I was in Austin- which was kindly removed by one of the friendly Mexicans painting my apartment. He took it with him, which was speculated to me by a friend that he was probably taking it to make sandals. Nice.
Then I poisoned myself with bug fumigator. Yup, only me. I was soaking up the Texas sun at a picnic table outside my apartment with an icy Negra Modela and a vintage Hemingway when I was attacked by vicious mosquitoes. I had no Off Spray, but I did have something called Bug Stop under the sink left by the previous tenant. “I can probably put this on my body,” I thought, and doused my arms and legs and continued soaking up the piercing sun. I came in much later, showered, and was vegging out in front of the TV when I began experiencing terrible burning and itching, which in my simple mind, I accredited to a sudden poison ivy outbreak. Right. I went to Walgreen’s and bought cortisone & various creams.. came home.. showered again.. lathered myself up in a handful of treatments.. and tried to relax. Yeah fucking right. Hours later, I sat up in disbelief as I had the epiphany that I had poisoned myself with fumigator. I retrieved the bottle and read the label (which I should’ve done first) and discovered that the room should be left once Bug Stop is sprayed and not to get the product near the skin. Fabulous. I lost my poison control virginity and had to brace myself as the friendly nurse questioned me about what “my friend” had done to herself. (Hey, I wasn’t gonna take credit for that stupid err!) “My friend is really suffering,” I explain to her. “Your friend, huh?,” she replies. She knew I was full of shit. Meanwhile, I felt like I had a yeast infection all over my entire body and would’ve gladly chopped my arms and legs off that night had I had a suitable utensil to do so.
Then I ate cow face… on accident. And sadly, it was disgustingly delicious. Apparently when one is immersed into a land with authentic cuisine of (any nationality really), though this particular incident was Mexican- one should be rather careful if they’re particular about what they’re consuming- (that would be me, quasi-vegetarian, only recently re-incorporating red meat into my life). Barbacoa means cow face- essentially the cheek of the cow. And I’m ashamed to say, it tasted good on a taco. And even better with a slice of fresh avocado. Though I’ll never do it again (sober, anyhow).
Then there was the hooker with the tampon string- (which raises the philosophical question, do hookers wear tampons?). Yes, really. (Again, only me!!). She was propositioning me with her eyes on the corner under I-35 while I sat, slightly humored, at a red light. She turned her back at me and I checked her out one last time (not because I was interested in her services) when I realized she was wearing no panties under that too-short-to-be-a-micro-mini that she had on. One more look than I had intended and I saw the likes of her tampon string hanging between her legs. I gunned it as soon as the light turned green and I’m pretty sure I drank a whole twelve-pack that night to recover from the trauma.
So as this all unravels, as unusual as some moments may be, I must say I’m continually humored, enlightened, surprised, intrigued, and at rare moments- disgusted. But, it’s a lovely cocktail of life.
Welcome to my adventure. I hope you enjoy doing Austin alongside me. Check back soon for additions to my saga. It’s sure to entertain, create awkward and uncomfortable moments, and entice you all to visit this beautiful, interesting, and most renown- weird city.
By: Ashley Halligan