Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Indy to Austin

The bus trip started off bad and then remained about the same for the 27-hour-long trip. Even getting on the bus was a hassle, a hassle observed by Mom, Dad, Toby, Heather and Rachel as they stood off to the side and waited 15 minutes for me to board. The first leg was from Indy to Louisville and then on to Nashville. The people on the bus were very different than the people you see on airplanes. There was an Amish family, several people using plastic grocery bags as suitcases, and an unproportionally large amount of Spanish spoken. The bus itself had seen better days. The windows were scratched. The barrier behind the driver was covered in residue left by duct tape. The floors were sticky and worn. During my first leg, we remained about 15 minutes behind schedule. This was relatively close to our actual schedule, I'd find. Most of my other buses left much later than their scheduled times.

In both Louisville and Nashville, I wanted to get out and look around, but time simply did not allow for it. Both of them seemed like very nice cities. I had images in my mind of them as being fairly small and run-down, but this didn't appear to be the case at all.

The next leg of the trip was the longest. I left Nashville for Dallas, hitting Memphis, Little Rock, and various other little stops along the way. Most of this trip was at night, which made the time pass slower. One thing I love about taking the bus is simply looking out the window, but at night, the windows don't have much to show except headlights and road.

The person sitting next to me liked to spread out in his sleep, slowly reducing my seat space between Memphis and Little Rock. Hoping to be able to sit alone, I changed seats in Arkansas, but the bus was booked full, and I ended up with another buddy. This one was better than the first, though, and allowed me a little sleep.

I got into Dallas late, of course, and had only about 40 minutes to look around before boarding my next bus. Dallas, too, seemed like a nice city and one that I wish I could have looked around more. Perhaps another time.

The last bus I boarded took me to Austin. The scenery in Texas is different than the Midwest, but surprisingly not as different as I had imaged. I spent the 4 hours from Austin to Dallas anxious to get off the bus. I found reading difficult, so I listened to an audio book and stared out the window.

It was 100 degrees when I got off the bus in Austin, but people are right when they talk about the "dry heat." The lack of humidity makes the heat seem bearable. While Busan isn't as hot as Austin, it's actually far more uncomfortable because of the humidity. My biggest fear of living in Austin doesn't seem that bad.

I took a taxi to the Airport and then headed back to my hotel. The next day, I'd start my real tour of the city.



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