….When we weren’t contemplating the intriguing paradoxes of the U.S.’s national character in San Antonio’s bars, we explored it’s tourist sites.
Chief among them has to be the Alamo, smack in the middle of downtown and inextricably associated with the battle that took place there in 1836–a defining moment in the Texas struggle for independence against Mexico.
The site now serves as a sort of rallying cry for Texas spirit and is taken very seriously–best not to step on the finely manicured grass that surrounds it or a Stetson-wearing state trooper hidden behind sun glasses will have a word with you.
We explored the festive atmosphere of the Paeso del Rio, or River Walk, a landscaping scheme built around the San Antonio River comprising cobbled paths, lined with tropical plants and shaded by pine, cypress, oak and willow, winding for two and a half miles (21 blocks) beside the jade-green water.
The city’s strong Hispanic identity increased exponentially at night and we found ourselves in one nightclub where we might as well have been in Mexico city, three gringos at the edge of the dance floor looking on.
Admittedly the booze intake was beginning to have an attrition-like effect, though as none of us were doing drugs–all still serving in the army–we weren’t quite approaching Hunter S. Thompson’s level of fatigue:
“Zombie drunk and nervous. I recognize this feeling: three or four days of booze, drugs, sun, no sleep and burned out adrenalin reserves–a giddy, quavering sort of high that means the crash is coming. But when? How much longer? This tension is part of the high. The possibility of physical and mental collapse is very real now.”
Compared to that, perhaps we weren’t trying hard enough?