Published: June 8th 2012May 18th 2012
I arrived in Houston to much fanfare, though it obviously wasn't aimed at me. My visit coincided with soldiers returning from their tours of duties. So I had to navigate through the crowd of patriotic crazy women, soldiers in full uniform acting as a guard of honour, and a rather inordinate amount of american flags. The other issue was the guard of honour was around the exit, and I had no desire to walk through that. Especially as the odd small British girl with the large rucksack. The applause, the tears it was incredibly melodramatic, but also oddly stirring. The level of patriotism was very apparent, and I knew I was in Texas.
The obvious downside to the soldiers being about, was that no one would direct me to the buses, or any other transport other than a taxi, so I cut my losses and just paid for a damn taxi.
When the foreign taxi driver pulled up at the hostel I was convinced he had in the language confusion gone to the wrong place, it couldn't be more different than the Nola hostel. It was clean, modern and surprisingly empty. Pool table, lounge areas, and of course a swimming pool. I couldn't check in till 3pm, so I ventured into Houston in search of food. I found a little Mexican place so with a cold beer in my hand, I instantly felt at home.
Finally when I returned, the hostel had come to life, I quickly became acquainted with my new roommates for the next 3 days. Katherine was an aspiring opera singer from Chicago who was in town for a competition, Estelle, a French girl who was working in Texas as an au pere who on her weekends she was exploring the rest of Texas.
In the morning we set off for the museums, visiting exhibits on the titanic, and the Chinese emperors of all things. In the afternoon in a showing of moral support, Estelle and I went with Katherine to her audition. It was incredible I might not have the best knowledge of opera, but incredible is the only word to describe it. I almost had tears in my eyes as she sang her first aria (she's a soprano). Sadly we later found out that she hadn't made the finals (daylight robbery). That evening there was a free performance of the the barber of Seville playing in the local park. So off I went to my first opera, with blankets, to sit on the grassy hill. I got a little frustrated when I was trying to follow the performance, all in bloody Italian despite this I Did enjoy the figuro part, though that could be a bugs bunny throwback. I have to be honest I didn't expect to be going to the opera in Houston, but it's another thing I can check of my bucket list.
In Houston I once again sampled the joy of chicken fried steak, from another restaurant that has been on the food network. There is definitely a theme to my travelling. If I don't come back having gained at least a stone I will be surprised.
I also had the misfortune of meeting another law student. They shouldn't let law students share a room, it creates conflict. She was in her late 20's and was loud, obnoxious and all knowing. It did allow me to reevaluate myself, though I did come to the conclusion that I wasn't quite as confrontational and aggressive as she was. It did give me pause for thought in how I address others when it comes to complex law scenarios. There is difference between law and morality, and even the most intelligent of people fall into the traps of allowing logic to fail when emotion takes hold.
Also for the first time I had a crazy stalker friend, a woman I could not shake despite the fact we had nothing in common. Every time I tried to go anywhere on my own she would tag along. Telling me tales of her limited travel and boring me to death. This did put a bit of a downer on my last day in Houston, that and all the fucking Mosquitos I have been bit so many times, I have my very own mountain range on my back, legs and ankles.