Deep into the urban jungle

I got back to Austin late in the evening after a day trip to Houston and about seven hours of driving and collapsed in a heap of exhaustion.

A friend, Monica, needed to go to the Chilean consulate to collect her visa in order to travel to Chile to present research as part of her Ph.D. at a conference in Santiago.

We made a day of it and after collecting the visa in the morning, went to the iconic restaurant, The Breakfast Klub, where we ate its two signature dishes of waffles and catfish, along with potatoes, grits, eggs and more: the meals made the English idea of a “fat boy’s” look like a “skinny boy’s.” I felt full for the rest of the day.

We visited The Menil Collection, one of the largest private art collections in the world, where we strolled past  paintings by Giorgio de Chirico, Picasso and Barnett Newman among others.

I had a transcendental moment in an amazing room where I stood, all alone, surrounded by six 18-foot-high Mark Rothko paintings. When you look into a Rothko you sense the abyss that lies out there waiting for us.

Houston’s overpowering traffic lived up to its reputation and proved quite a change to Austin’s town-like layout in comparison.

Monica and I finished our trip weary but satisfied by having some small town comforts in the form of apple pie with ice cream and a gargantuan wedge of carrot cake at Magnolia Cafe.