When you’re happy you’ve a day off so you can study… #lawschoolliving ✏️📖📚😗 OOO I MADE A DELICIOUS TURKEY SANDWICH 😋🍞🐤 #1ljourney #texas #texaslaw17 #lawschool #lawyerinthemaking #studying #reading #lunchbag #yummy #chefychef #livingintexas #austin #utlaw #instafood #instadaily #photooftheday #laborday #happydayoff #yay
Monday Aug 11 - I attended the international student check-in and meeting, had some trouble getting my school ID because they spelled my name wrong… got a local car insurance and bought some more furniture (N helped build some more shelves)
Tuesday Aug 12 - In the morning I went to the school’s medical centre to handle some more administrative things, had lunch with Carrie, and drove N to the airport. Saying goodbye was a lot harder than I ever imagined… all of a sudden it hit me that I’m in a new city all by myself… and this is no vacation. I had to adjust to a new life in a new place and I’m on my own. It was hard… all my fears came rushing in as if my sanity was on sale on boxing day… The rational part of me just prayed for the night to be over…
Wednesday Aug 13 - Getting up was difficult but I knew if I didn’t, the day would feel more and more gloomy. So I got up and dealt with my electricity account payment set up. Then I spent the rest of my day on my computer paying credit cards, checking class schedules and textbooks, and organizing my life. Fear and loneliness stood in the back corner of my head waiting for an opportunity to interrupt me, for the most part I prevented it by keeping myself busy.
Thursday Aug 14 - I needed to get out of my apartment early to make sure the demonic emotions don’t get a chance to control me before it’s too late. I woke up and got to Spiderhouse - except their indoors only open at 11am… I ran away after getting 9 mosquito bites standing outside. Having no destination… I kept driving around hoping to find a place to settle down… I stumbled upon <Kerbey Lane Cafe>. I arrived at a super busy time, the restaurant was packed with people… I knew I couldn’t stay long to do work but food seemed like a good idea. And it really was. I had a California Omelette :) The best part was also meeting my server, who told me that this area is like Neverland! All his customers are in their 20s and they never age haha.
After breakfast I went and bought/ordered my textbooks. Did some leisure reading and set up my internet modem.
Friday Aug 15 - In the morning I did some more cleaning, unpacking, organizing work at home. Then for lunch I met up with Norah and May at <Magnolia Cafe>. Once again, delicious food… all three of us ordered enchiladas, and none of us were disappointed. This was a good day because I really needed some company to help with the transition… After lunch we checked out some really interesting shops downtown, got cupcake from the famous <Hey Cupcake!> food truck, went to <Barton Springs> to cool off, <Stubb’s> to fill our tummys, and then a pretty awesome night out on <6th Street> - I even rode a mechanical bull :P In one day we certainly hit a lot of memorable spots, I needed this :)
Saturday Aug 16 - After dropping off Norah and May at their bus stop to go to Dallas, I went home and rested/napped. I didn’t do much today other than Skype with N. It was comforting. Very comforting.
Sunday Aug 17 - Laundry, groceries, relaxing and Netflix. Perfect Sunday.
Lots of emotional ups and downs this week… I feel like our emotional and rational selves are two separate entities. Being aware of that helps a little… But more often than not we tend to lose sight of that and get washed over by emotions… It will happen a lot in the next three years… let’s hope my rational self can help my emotional self stay on the right track.
The first week of Austin was exciting. Even the administrative things (setting up accounts and buying furnitures) weren’t too bad because doing it with someone made it fun. We also met an incredible friend, Carrie, at Starbucks who offered us her birthday cake :) Turns out her line of work echoes well with N. Serendipity moments brought to you by Cake :)
We had dinner at <Opa!> which was beyond amazing… the atmosphere, the decor, the food, the drinks… excellent. I can certainly see myself spending hours there on days I need to get away from school.
Another cute cafe we discovered after asking a sales rep at the UT Art Co-op shop was <Spiderhouse>. I can’t even describe to you how fantastic this place is… the backyard decor is so mystical I felt like I was stepping onto a film set… We did some work on our laptops there, the only problem I had there was feeling too hot outside and too cold inside… soon I will learn that this is the case for most Austin buildings and that cardigans are a must-carry.
Oh yes, their Bloody Mary was too delicious for words…
This evening (Saturday Aug 9) we went on a kayak bat tour - unbelievable… I’ve never kayaked, so it was fun to experience this. The bats… Again, I’ve no words… imagine 1.5 million bats flying over your head like a swarm of bees! I don’t know why I imagined them to be a lot bigger… but they were tiny, like little swallows! And they sounded like baby chicks :)
I don’t really know which area of Austin we stumbled upon after this… but we were on a street with lots of awesome restaurants and bars, but it was this area with several food trucks that seemed most appealing to us. We ordered some delicious sliders from one of the trucks and my gosh… they were yummy!
On Sunday we had lunch with Rachael at Opa, then visited the Bullock State Museum and the Capitol. But the highlight this day was the BBQ at <Freedmen’s Bar>. For a non-meat eater… the meat here was so good I wanted to cry… We shared the Holy Trinity (brisket, pork spare ribs, home-made sausage) plate and were both stuffed to the point that there was no room left for dessert :’( My favourite part of the meal though was probably the Grilled Cabbage Slaw… it was so delicious I was scared to eat it (I should start an Austin food blog). We were told to visit 6th Street but after this meal the only option our physical bodies gave us was to find a place and be horizontal… So to home we went and spent the night resting and digesting. Which we were totally fine with :)
This concludes our first 72 hours in Austin, Texas. It is a warm place with a lot of warm people. Life can be good here!
I really should be writing two entries for this transition theme… one about my experience as a law student and another about my experience as a Texas resident.
So much has happened in the past few months, it feels like I’ve lived a different life not long ago… Actually, that’s exactly what’s happened. And that’s probably what happens for any transition period.
On August 4th, N and I set off for the TT (Toronto->Texas) road trip:
Day 1: 5 hours later we arrived in Detroit where we crossed border. Mostly it was a smooth process, although I had to pay a good sum for importing my car. We spent a little over an hour afterwards driving around checking out abandoned buildings. I wish we had more time to explore, but we really wanted to catch up time lost in the morning so soon after dinner, we were on the road again to Indianapolis. N got really tired close to the end of the drive, I jumped into the drivers seat and got ourselves to the hotel in time.
Day 2: August 5th - Our drive this day was only going to be close to 7 hours so we took our time in the morning eating breakfast and getting ready. We arrived in Memphis around 6pm and checked-in at a pretty-shitty hotel, good location though. Since most museums and cool things were closed by this hour, we just rested and planned our night around <Beale Street>. N was super patient with me… I was grumpy about the hotel and for whatever else reason I don’t know and didn’t bother to discover… Beale Street fixed me though! Even though it was a Tuesday, there were lots of bands and talents on the street and in the restaurants/bars. We walked up and down to find a place to eat and listen to music; as much as I love Jerry Lee Lewis, the music at that bar wasn’t so great (it was Elvis impersonation), so we ended up at <Blues City Cafe>. There we enjoyed an amazing band with some delicious ribs :)
Day 3: August 6th - There was so much that we still wanted to see so we decided to push our itinerary back a few hours. We visited the giant Elvis statue (see below); enjoyed an incredibly informative factory tour at the <Gibson Guitar Factory>; and of course, my dream tour at the <Sun Studio>. The studio is still in operation, recording local and famous artists. I even got to hold the mic that Elvis recorded with! This was no doubt our favourite part of the road trip. After this we got back on the road and headed toward TEXASSSSS! Dallas, to be exact :) We didn’t explore much of Dallas but I’ll have time for that some time in the next three years ^.^
Day 4: August 7th - AUSTIN. Home for the next 3 years. We arrived in Austin around 1pm and went straight to my agent’s office to pick up my keys. S Lamar was my first glimpse of Austin, and seeing all the palm trees and patios and taco places, I thought, I can definitely get use to this… We get to my apartment, despite the heat, it was a lovely unit! After unloading N’s unbelievably skilled packing project… we went for Thai food. Around 4pm we met up with George, got a bunch of fruits and vegetables, picked up my 4 boxes of shipped goods, went back to the apt to do a bit of unpacking (N installed my desk), then at 7pm we picked up Jiajia and went for dinner. That concludes my first day in Austin, Texas.
Texas Longhorns killing itttt 🏉🐂 my first football game woooo 🌟👏 still learning the rules haha #texas #texaslonghorns #longhorns #texashorns #austin #hookem #hookemhorn #football #collegefootball #seriousbusiness #burntorange #1ljourney #lawschool #becomingsouthern #becomingtexan #texaslaw17 #me #jj #teamspirit #summer #firstgame #instadaily #photooftheday #love #smile #instasummer #playpicpost (at UT Longhorn Stadium)
#texaslaw17 #msjd ✏️📖📓📚💻😎 #1ljourney #austin #utlaw #texas #studying #goingtoclass #lawschool #lawyerinthemaking #suitup #thankful #me #jj #smile #love #instadaily #latergram #photooftheday
#texaslaw17 #yo1lo #scavengerhunt Number 1: The Capitol #texas #austin #1ljourney #yay #lawschool #utlaw #utorientation #thecapitol #winning #mostcreative #summer #summerdontend #hookem #hookemhorn #instadaily #instasummer #photooftheday @utexaslaw (at Texas State Capitol)
#texaslaw17 #yo1lo #scavengerhunt Number 32: 6 Flags over Texas 🇺🇸✌️#austin #texas #utlaw #utorientation #wow #mostcreative #yay #1ljourney #travel #lawschool #youngtraveler #flags #AMERICA #instadaily #summer #instasummer #photooftheday #instacollage #sheffieldsociety (at Bullock Texas State History Museum)
#texaslaw17 #yo1lo Number 43 the Texas Bull!!! 🐂✌️ #texas #austin #1ljourney #bull #utlaw #utorientation #travel #youngtraveler #lawschool #winning #instadaily #summer #photooftheday #scavengerhunt
#TexasLaw17 #yo1Lo ready to win the Scavenger Hunt! #estefaniasouza #eddyhperez #davidgoode #lizhughes #jingjingliang #charlesstam #alexpratt #jj #utlaw #1ljourney #utorientation #hookemhorn #hookem #texas #austin #yay #winning 😎✌️👌💁 (at University of Texas School of Law)
UT Turtles! 🐢🐢🐢 at the University of Texas at Austin Turtle Pond you can find these fellas swimming and tanning 💦☀️ what a life! I counted 21 turtles! 😛 #austin #lawschool #universityoftexas #texas #turtles #turtlepond #cute #animals #tanning #summer #swimming #fun #1ljourney #travel #youngtraveler #lovemylife #thankful #aww #love #habitat #instadaily #instasummer #instalove #photooftheday #talkastroll (at UT Turtle Pond)
After a minute of battling the bull… Texas 1 : JJ 0 🐂 but you just wait Texas… I will defeat you 💪 #livingintexas #rodeo #6thstreet #latergram #austin #texas #becomingsouthern #southernbelle #rideabull #battle #travel #adventurous #1ljourney #summer #summerdontend #me #jj #fun #survivor #instadaily #instalaugh #instasummer #photooftheday #funny #tomorrowschampion #ididit (at Downtown Austin-6th Street)