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  • We stopped on an impulse at a saloon in Fredericksburg two nights ago. Cream coloured deer had flanked the US 290 that took us to this town proud of its German heritage. The deer were mixed in with dark green shrubs and pecan trees. Because of the little traffic that passed through, the startled creatures stared right at us. Already elated by this surprising find of wildlife, we asked the bar tender to go easy on the liquor for our drink. All the girls love this one, he said shaking his metal beaker vigorously. We received an unnaturally sweet cocktail completed by a cherry on the edge of the glass. The scene was one of Easter yellow polka dotted halter dresses with cowboy boots. When the musicians called it quits a DJ took over. There was a birthday celebration by three brothers and their matchmaking sister. We stayed until closing time.

    Now, down town traffic in Baton Rouge prevents us to do some afternoon wandering through the Ogden, Louisiana’s museum of Southern art. We left early enough this morning and even managed to escape the law. Neither one of us shot the sheriff. What we did do was stop for gas only to find out that we had been tailed. Valentina talks with the officer. Sorry Sir we really didn’t see you. I attend to the engine’s need for energy with overstated diligence and keep my head low. The man in question is kind enough to let us off with a warning. Now ladies, you don’t wanna ruin your trip by going to jail. Don’t speed up. You have speed limits in Italy right, so it’s pretty similar over here. You can read the signs! We both give the Trooper our most apologetic smile and nod. All of this makes me crave for Jimi Hendrix.

    The air gets thick, like the swamps beneath us. Frustrations that were generated twenty four hours earlier resurface. The cost of our Fredericksburg adventure became apparent as we arrived in Austin at 3 AM on a Saturday. A great time to observe college kids staggering home. A horrible time to find a place to sleep. The city was fully booked. After several calls and a few disappointments at hotel reception desks we checked-in at la Quinta next to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. We bickered about how to spend our time in this city of the Violet Crown.

    We slept for five hours.
    Went for a run in Zilker park.
    We argued.
    We got lost.
    We got dehydrated.
    We argued some more.
    We found our car.

    The highlight that day was a little girl stepping on my hair, as I was laying on my back. After all the fighting we were cooling off with the Austinites at Barton spring pool. Her own hair was a bright orange with lush curls. She wanted to pick at the leaves of a low hanging tree branch that provided shade above my head.

    Driving into New Orleans we have the Southern blues to sooth our minds. Oh woman, Oh woman, don’t you treat me so mean. I make up lyrics to match this new found rhythm. I need my brown sugar – yeah babe – need my sugar. Laughter breaks the silence when Koko Taylor sings 'I can make love to a crocodile'. Oh Yeah we say 'We can make love to a crocodile'.
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