Etikettarkiv: Chicks in Bowls

Batwoman

Last night I started to feel a little homesick for the first time. I am not sure if it actually is PMS, it usually is when I get upset all of a sudden but a chain of events made me just lay on my mattress here in Austin and stare for some hours.

It started with going to see the Daniel Johnston’s mural of Jeremiah the innocent. It made me think of my brother, when we watched the Devil and Daniel Johnston together, how we listened to his music, when we went to see him live in Gothenburg in the summer of 2008. And thinking of my dead brother always makes me a little low.

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The mural was done in 1993, by then this was the wall of a record store. Today it’s the wall of a Thai restaurant with the suiting name ”Thai, how are you?”.

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Me in 2008, some days after the concert. Photo by Camilla Lindberg.

After that I strolled around downtown until sunset and walked to Congress Avenue Bridge to see the famous Austin bats. I was about 1,5 hours early so I stood there by myself, determined to not give up since I had already been waiting for so long. Just when it got dark the bats started crawling out of the cavities underneath the bridge. It’s not bat season now, so there were probably only around 1 000 bats instead of 175 000 (I read that on a sign close to the bridge). It was still quite impressive though and worth the wait.

It has been a long time since I just stood for 1,5 hours without the distraction of internet (probably over four years, when I got my first smart phone). Just before the bats came out I met a Portuguese woman, who had moved to Austin six weeks ago because she was fed up with the economical situation in Portugal. She has an education in marketing, but works illicit as a nanny. She seemed lonely. She was nice and I enjoyed her bat spotting company, but it added on to my lowness. The deep economical crisis parts of Europe is in, how it forces people to leave and work illegally in another country, how she was so bored with her loneliness that she looked for other people who were alone at tourist attractions so she could make friends. She told me that’s what she does.

While standing under the bridge looking at bats together I felt something dripping on my lip. I am not sure, but I believe it was bat poop or bat pee. I wiped my lip off, bu       t after some time my tongue started burning. I am now a little worried I might catch some kind of bat disease. But I heard the Austin bats are very healthy. I hope that is correct.

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Is this the bat that pooped on my face?

I felt that I should have asked the woman if she wanted to go out for a drink after our bat adventure, but I’m a little sick of drinking too, so I just caught the bus back to my hosts’ house, had dinner and then intended to update this blog, but lied on my mattress, staring for three hours before I realized it wasn’t going to happen.

Altough this blog post sound super gloomy I have had a blast in Austin, as I had in every other place I have visited. For that I thank my hosts, here and everywhere else I’ve been. What life savers they are!

In Austin I have been skating so much – parks, banked track with TXRD, flat track with TXRG! Austin is the roller derby mecca, it was here it all started again about 15 years ago. I have skated with and against members of Team USA. Today I had to deliberately take a day off skating so I have energy tomorrow to attend a bootcamp with Texas Roller Girls. I have sung karaoke – FINALLY, gotten drunk on 6th street, eaten greek food with the greek national roller derby team, strolled around downtown, shopping vintage cowboy stuff and looking at local craft jewelry.

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Wednesday: Chicks In Bowls Heart of Texas skate park meet up. I learned how to stall!

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Thursday: My host Lacy Bones of Texas Roller Derby’s (that’s the banked track team) Holy Rollers took me for a three hour long private lesson at their warehouse on Thanksgiving. She even taught me how to flip the rail.

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Thursday: After skating she took me to the highest point in Austin. This is what it looks like.

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Thursday: Your favorite karaoke singer in the world! (There are no photos from Friday because of this karaoke night on Thursday).

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Saturday: Met two of my teammates from Gothenburg Roller Derby at a scrimmage with Texas Roller Girls (flat track team). They are playing for team Greece and I scrimmaged against them with a Texas team. 

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Sunday: Apparently food trucks is a big thing here. They are everywhere, so I decided to eat at one of them. When I arrived to this parking lot with tons of food trucks only this one was open. It was creole food. It felt a little weird since I’ve eaten that where it’s supposed to be eaten, but on the other hand I have had soooo much Tex Mex since I came to Texas. Anyways: the food was good.

I’ve been here since Tuesday morning last week – I have one and a half more days to go before I leave to Dallas for the roller derby world cup. Even though Dallas is only three hours away it is supposed to be very different from Austin. Someone said that Austin is a tiny blue lagoon in a huge red sea. It will be interesting to see the difference. I am not sure I will enjoy the republican typically Texan part of Texas as much.

I was planning on going kayaking in the river that runs through the city today, but the nice 23 degree (Celcius) days suddenly were over. Today it’s windy and cold and I decided that it’s OK for me to do nothing. Eight weeks of traveling has started to take it’s toll on me, and more and more I just feel like doing nothing. I still have three weeks to go, the one that has just started will be intense with the world cup coming up, the two following will be intense too – my boyfriend is meeting up with me in Dallas and we’re going to road trip through the desert to Los Angeles. I’m a little worried about how I’ll feel towards the end of this adventure, on the other hand, having company might give me extra energy.

After Memphis I started feeling like I had too much time until the world cup, that I maybe was in over my head. I had planned on stopping between Memphis and New Orleans, but as I have written before I was told not to. I had also thought about stopping between New Orleans and Tampa, but for the same reasons I was told not to stop in Jackson I was told to go straight to Tampa. This have meant fewer and longer stops than I first intended to. Which has been both good and bad, the longer stops means days like this one, where I can just stay at home and do nothing, but even though I’m exhausted the long stays make me a little restless. It’s like that guilt Swedish people feel when they are indoors on a sunny day – I feel guilty for not making the most out of this trip. But I only have so much energy. I’m hoping it will come back to me soon.

Lots of love,

Vulvo Amazon

Time traveling. And piss (again)

If New Orleans was like a journey back in time, the 15 hour long bus ride to Palm Harbor, Florida was a time travel back to the present. A very stereotypical American present.

On my last day in Louisiana I went on a kayaking tour in Manchac Swamp. 99 years ago there were people living in that swamp, but then a big hurricane came and killed them all, except for maybe four people – and they never moved back. You can still see poles from their homes sticking up from the water. The ghost of voodoo princess Julie White is supposedly haunting the Manchac Swamp. Legend has it that White used to sit on her front porch and predict the destruction of close towns and sing, “One day I’m gonna die, and I’m gonna take all of you with me”. On the day of her funeral in 1915, the hurricane struck the area and wiped out three towns.

I’m telling you. It’s gonna happen again and again and again. These levees won’t save you from voodoo hurricanes, I am sorry New Orleans.

The kayaking was beautiful and I wasn’t so scared actually, not even of the alligators. We only saw one, a baby, but apparently there are heaps of them there. We saw the nest of two bald eagles and a couple of herons/egrets that apparently are two different birds in English, but the same in Swedish – hägern. After 2 hours of kayaking I needed to pee so much I wasn’t even enjoying myself anymore. I tried to ask if there was any way I could go to shore and pee, but either it was dangerous because of alligators or they didn’t understand my pain. And the pain was real. The tour went on for 45 more minutes. I have never had to pee so much in my life. Every paddle stroke made my bladder feel like it was going to explode.I thought about peeing in small juice bottle, but realized it would be too small and that it wasn’t socially acceptable in the group i was in. Then i thought of just peeing in my pants, but realized that would be rude towards the guy who was gonna drive me back in his new and clean car, so i paddled, and paddled, faster than I ever have before, against the wind, thinking i might die from a broken bladder. As soon as we got to shore I ran into the bushes, after I realized that that wasn’t really socially acceptable either. But that was really the best I could do.

But even if I somewhat peed all over my swamp experience, I had a great time.

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Killa, the coast guard/tuna fisher I wrote about in my last blog post and Venus EnVie, roommate of Hennessy Williams and therefor also my host in Nola.

The afternoon I spent packing and actually eating alligator. Just an alligator sausage and it tasted like any sausage. I felt a little bad for eating it, but since I am a meat eater and someone told me it was good i gave it a try.

The very last hours in Nola I spent with Abeata Applebum, who is a jammer for Big Easy Rollergirls and also skates for the Moxi Skate Team in a skate park. I was definitely a little better than the last time i tried. Still far from dropping in, but I atleast attempted a stall, even though it just meant I was clinging on to the bars at the top of the ramp. It was so much fun and inspired me so much I went straight to Facebook to take the initiative to a Swedish chapter of the Chicks in Bowls movement.

Third time ever in a skate park. Not a pro yet, but at least I am having fun. Should have cut out all the crappy parts of this, but I couldn’t be bothered.

After skating I went back to the house, grabbed my stuff and went to the bus station. As I have written before I had been warned about all the shady people on the Greyhounds and up until now I thought it was very exaggerated. But a night bus through the deep south changed my view on that. I have never seen so many criminal looking people at the same time as I did on the Mobile bus station at 2 in the morning. I was happy I didn’t shower after skating and that i was wearing dirty clothes, because all I wanted to do was to blend in, to look like the methhead girl sitting next to me. Nothing bad happened, and no-one was threatening me, but let’s just say there were more people with tear drop tattoos than not there. I was sure the amount of tear drops were the same as the number of people you have killed, but Lars informed me it could also mean the number of gang members one has lost to make me feel better. I just googled it and it can apparently also mean the number of times you have been raped in jail.

After a long and sleepless night I finally made it to Tampa, where my relative Heather picked me up at the bus station and drove me back to her home. Apparently our grandmothers were cousins, but to make it easy we say that we are cousins. She has been to Sweden and visited when she was 14, but I was just born then so i don’t remember much of that encounter. We went back to their home in Palm Harbor, in a neighbourhood that feels like Desperate Housewives with a jungle twist. I started unpacking in a room with 500 stuffed toys and a huge Mickey Mouse rug when I sensed a very unpleasant smell – cat piss. I had brought the smell of piss with me from New Orleans. One of the cats, I don’t know which one, had peed in my bag as a good bye present. My ”Welcome to Nashville”-poster that Phantom Power is pee stained, the lining of my bag smells horrible, and so does my new fancy high heels. The rest of the smelly clothes are at least washable. At first I thought it was my derby clothes that smelled so badly, but I’m happy it wasn’t because I would feel very bad about myself if that was the smell of my body odor.

So without sleep or food for 15 hours and with the smell of cat piss in my bag we went straight to Lincolns sixth birthday party. And this is where time traveling really happened. Not only had I left 1800-something Nola, I had arrived in neon light, bouncy castle- jungle desperate housewives land. Not because I think any of the adults at the party were anything like the characters in the series, it’s about architecture and city planning. I’m not sure what age that is though. Maybe it’s a very 2014 setting?

It was really fun and interesting to attend a very American B’day party. It was very different from the ones I used to have when i was a kid. It’s often Easter on my birthday, so we mainly dressed up as Easter witches and begged for candy.

Heather’s three year old daughter Elizabeth took an instant liking to me. She also calls me her cousin. Elizabeth is so cool – she roller skates and always wear a Super Girl costume. She is also very tough. One day she’ll become a great roller derby player. We played in the bouncy castles and the slides together until the lack of sleep and hunger caught up on me and I wandered around Jungle Bounce like a ghost.

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Heather took proper photos of my first ever American bouncy party. Hopefully I can post them later. If you want to see a video from it there is one on my Instagram.

Tomorrow I’m gonna explore the surroundings, but i felt the water today and with Swedish standards it’s warm. The gulf of Mexico (proudly sponsored by BP oil) is only a mile away. And I will swim in it, even though i apparently brought the cold weather with me from Nola.

/Vulvo in Sunshine State

Below are two of these photos that Heather took:

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Elizabeth and I one one of the slides at Jungle Bounce.

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The Palmer Family and I.