Friday, May 05, 2006

Austin IRL: Wheels Down

Austin IRL: Wheels Down

Austin In Real Life, Part 1

I arrived in Austin Wednesday May 3, 2006 around 5pm. My initial impression of Austinites is that they are straightforward and friendly. The woman managing a local CVS drug store will start up a conversation with you (and tell you how she yearns for quitting time).

A light dinner at El Sol y la Luna proved tasty. Sangria and beef quesadillas out in the wrought iron beer garden were refreshing after hours of flight and airport loitering. It's pure synchronicity that Luna is the nickname of my Austin host, and part of the name of the restaurant.

Luna has graciously given me a room for my stay, and access to her car while she is at work. I'm staying the the far northwest region of Austin, TX, where tidy rambler-style houses are surrounded by "live oak" trees.

First Morning

The back deck proved to be an oasis of peace and wildlife watching. The soft canopy of reaching oaks is active with blue jays, cardinals, twelve kinds of bird song. It's the perfect place for a gourmet coffee and a Zen attitude adjustment. Standing in Vrksasana feels naturally in-place.

Luna and I practiced Kundalini yoga at a local studio for an hour. It primarily consisted of sitting poses and breathing exercises (breath of fire, etc.) I am more used to power Hatha yoga, and so did not get the stretching and strengthening that I sought. Luna loved it, and felt some energy shift that followed her throughout the day.

I'm staying in a household with one big dog and two cats, a calico and a jet black cat. My allergies to cats are very strong, so I'm taking a massively sedating prescription antihistamine each night. So far, I've kept the allergic response down to a very manageable level. My impressions of Austin, and Austin's impressions of me, are somewhat colored by this medication.

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