There's nothing like it getting dark over a cold, grey wet Illinois and waking up in glorious Arkansas sunshine. I'm back in the South – hurrah!
Into Texas and we hit Dallas at around 11am. I would have a double seat to myself from now on as Marisa was getting off. We had a whole hour layover so I walked with Arie and Marisa away from the station for a while looking for coffee. Thank heavens for Foursquare, we found a Museum Cafe and started walking towards it.
I looked left to cross the road and there was something weirdly familiar about the scene. I ignored it and kept walking but it was bugging me. The I looked up and saw the memorial to George Bannerman Dealey. I was in Dealey Plaza. Yes. That's the former Texas School Book Depository Building and hmmmm… that grassy knoll over there… really weird, completely unexpectedly I was walking through a historical site, a place where a man had his brains blown out by an assassin or assassins about a year before I was born. The museum we were heading to had loops of video of that day in November. I didn't know how to feel, I can understand the power of the memory of that President, but commemorating violent death a few yards away from where that violent death took place? I don't know, I still don't.
Anyway we got some much better coffee that was available on the train and chatted with Kheira the barista who, on hearing we'd found her via Foursquare said incredulously "Really? How old are you?" We explained that this is what we do and what SXSW is all about. We encouraged her to spend her spring break in Austin and get a clue about this stuff 🙂
Back on the train and able to stretch out. I was impatient now to get to Austin – we had another 45 minute layover in Fort Worth, just half an hour or so away. I remembered how big Texas is West to East but hadn't quite clicked the North-South dimension too. McGregor, Temple, Taylor no idea where I was just counting down to "Next Stop: Aaaaaaaaaaustin Texasssss"
Finally we were off the train. The bizarre thing was that of course this was the same train that I'd caught out of Austin last time I was here. So the light was exactly the same as then (which is where my twitter/FB profile pic was shot) I made a little piece to camera about being back and headed off to stock up at Whole Foods and find beautiful people.
Which of course I did in the form of seesmic veterans aplenty. @philcampbell, @orchid8, @danpatterson, @iKrissi – we headed from there to The Ginger Man I think where we met up with half the population of Birmingham and watched @hermioneway have video of herself shot from a handheld projector onto her bottom – enlightening stuff 🙂
And so to bed, chez @orchid8, in my favourite bottom bunk bed in Austin, with rocket ship sheets – total luxury.