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.
Thursday 31st March 1994, 12:56 (CST)
DIGESTING A TUNA CURRY*, AUSTIN, TX
Well, what happened since the last time I wrote?
Tuesday: woke up and met Paul on campus at 4:00 in the Longhorns souvenir shop. I’d (thankfully) got some money and already bought some souvenirs. We went and sat in the Memorial Stadium to watch the Longhorns (American Football team) in spring practice. Then we went to Dishwasher, sorry, Disch-Falk Field to watch the Longhorns (funnily enough) play San Antonio Roadrunners at baseball. Anyway, the Longhorns (!) won 9-6 and we got some groovy photos.
Wednesday: awoke to find Paul and Rice were still asleep (as usual). Eventually, they got up and we went to campus, as always. We then went to the Crown & Anchor**, followed by a few bars to take in the stereotypical bar-life of Austin. Imagine the bar in any Burt Reynolds film, the bar out of ‘Terminator 2’, the bar off the Carlsberg ad: (“You English”?***), blur them all together and there you have it; a stereotypical American bar. After five pints of assorted American beers, we’d had as much gas as we could take and came back. I’ve just rung home and ‘Beavis & Butt-head’ is on soon. There’s talk of us going to watch Pantera tomorrow****, which would be pretty good as a final fling for the vacation.
The main thing, though, is to make sure we front up for the All-You-Can-Eat at Pizza Hut tomorrow.
Still, seeing as I’m returning home soon, I should really be thinking of the things that I’m missing, then I’ll look forward more to going home (theoretically). So, here’s a brief list, just to give you an idea: Fish & chips, brown sauce, Old Peculiar, ‘Coronation Street’, right-hand drive cars, ‘Match of the Day’, a real bed, MY GUITAR, my dog, correct spellings and grammar, any mention of cricket, people who don’t say “Ohreally”, adverts that don’t suck, my guitar, Old Peculiar, the weather (only kidding) and that good old Englishness that is there when you wake up in the morning, that you can breathe, and surrounds all that there is to behold and appreciate — no, not the cold, the indescribable entity, the ‘je ne sais qui’ (English version), the feeling that you only recognise when it isn’t there.
* Cheap student meal: 1x tin of tuna, 1x tin of tomato soup and curry powder to taste (lots)
** Great to see the Crown & Anchor is still there and still serving the JCB, looking just as I remember it, from the look of it on Google Street View (Sept 2016)
*** A quick Google search suggests this was the advert I was probably referring to, featuring Angus Deayton. The ball stopping on the pool table does seem like the kind of point I was trying to make. As I remember, it was largely a student hang-out so the comparison would have been a little unfair.
**** It didn’t happen, sadly.