A verbatim record of a diary I wrote while visiting friends (Paul & Rice) in Austin, Texas during the Easter holidays of my second year at University in 1994. Re-blogged on the anniversary of each entry. 2017 Commentary, where necessary for context, added as footnotes in italics.
Sunday 20th March 1994, 11:39 (CST)
PAUL’S FLOOR, AUSTIN, TX
Well, early to bed, early to rise makes Paul a dull boy! No question of that particular accusation applying. Yesterday, we did what most people go abroad specifically to do: we swam and sunbathed, played pool rugby, hung out next to a river, ate inordinate amounts of various fast food and sat outside until the early hours, watching the world go by. I’m sure there’s one missing there… …I don’t think we did anything else, though.
Well, apart from the fast food reliance, this *is* European too. Granted the scenery is not up to Italian Alp/Dolomite standard but since when did they have 24-hour supermarkets, eh? No, I won’t open up that old debate but I will say the two sides did seem fairly well reconciled here last night. Dan* brought his (American) girlfriend to see us last night (the English one doesn’t know about her yet). She was born in Greenwich Village in Noo Yawk.
I really wish I’d rang Dad on Friday night — not only because (whoops) I woke him up but also because if I’d rang him yesterday, he would have told me the scores. Well, I won’t be making *that* mistake again. We found the channel on the TV that shows English football (remember Keystone**: United v Spurs). Yesterday was Sheffield Wednesday v Newcastle United. I knew I was at home for this match and confidently told Rice et al it was 1-1, Cole for Newcastle, Andy Preece sent off, and I can’t remember who scored for Sheff Wed. Well, Rice was predictably jubilant (again!) when Andy Cole’s goal went in; Paul muttering something obscene and magpie-oriented in the corner***. Then the final whistle went and he (Paul) looked painfully at him as if I’d denied him the pleasure of seeing Wednesday equalise. All I could say was “That’s why I couldn’t remember who scored!”. I was right about the rest, though.
I’ve cultivated the beginnings of a rather nice tan in one day, which I’m afraid means cream and T-shirts for a couple of days and hopefully, I’ll look like Grandad after a month in California by next week. To all the detractors reading this, I’d just like to say a quick ‘I’M NOT BURNING’, so there.
Although this is a Sunday, it will not, I know, carry the atmosphere of a Sunday because Sundays are not allowed in the States, at least not Sundays like I or Luke know them (side-swipe)****. There will probably be a doubling of evangelical TV programmes and that’s all. Can’t hear any lawnmowers, though. Sorry, Luke, it had to be said!
* Paul & Rice’s room-mate.
** Keystone was the place we stayed in when we were skiing in Colorado, two months earlier.
*** Rice is a Newcastle fan, Paul is a Sunderland fan. In football terms, the two are sworn enemies.
**** I think this stems from a late-night, drink-fuelled ‘debate’ Luke, Matt and I had in our student house in Lancaster about the pros and cons of the American lifestyle (freedom from restriction) versus the European model (where some areas had by-laws that could force residents to cut their lawn each Sunday).