(For German click here) Poochie – that’s what my friend calls himself – has been my friend for half a life now. We got to know each other almost 20 years ago through a common friend and have never lost contact in all those years. We got along immediately, for back when we met, we shared a certain clumsiness and the knack to get into obscure situations. While I have mostly dropped those “abilities” in the meanwhile, they seem qualities that simply belong to Poochie’s very character. In my eyes it makes him most likable for the way he masters these situations in life is more than gracious.
Anyway, as you may recall, my dear husband had to leave home again almost as soon as we returned from Orlando on Saturday, August 2nd. So I dropped him off again on early (meaning we had to be at the airport by 5 am) Monday morning, only to return to a home deprived of all human company. But I wasn’t fretting, for my dear friend Poochie (Why Poochie? Because his uncle – there’s a funny story to be told at some point about his uncle, too – used to call him Pooch when he was little and it simply stuck with him) had announced that he could squeeze in a visit to Austin between his vacation in Hawaii and some crazy sports games in Cleveland. Sounded fine to me!!
After spending Monday and Tuesday early morning catching up with the sports deficit I encountered in Orlando (I only went for a run once – on the treadmill…) I prepared to get up real early on Wednesday again for Poochie’s plane was scheduled to land at 5:07 am. We celebrated our reunion with a long, warm embrace. It had been almost a year since I last saw him – in a moment of melancholic memory I recalled that he was the very last person to see me in my former home in Switzerland, frantically busy packing the last of my belongings on the evening before my departure. I have literally known Poochie half my life now and he has always been a true, dear friend. Even though – or especially because – we don’t see each other very often and are generally not in contact on a daily basis (more like an every-other-month basis) we never blame the other for not keeping in touch. We simply continue where we left off.
From the airport, we headed home and Pooch informed me that his suitcase got delayed and hadn’t even arrived in San Francisco yet. So he asked me for some stuff he could borrow from us such as running pants and shirts etc. I was quite confident that he would fit into my things and – absolutely, running and swimming wouldn’t be a problem for him; at least not because of a missing outfit. Sure, the bright blue tank top with neon yellow stripes along the seams isn’t very manly, but as the saying goes: Beggars can’t be choosers 😉 Thus equipped Poochie asked me to take him to my favorite running trail right away, for it was still relatively cool at this early time of day. He had to catch up with his training for the coming week when he was expected to participate in a triathlon, several shorter distance runs and a half marathon to close the week. I was more than happy to do so, but pointed out that he might have to do a few rounds by himself. All I ever managed to pull off is a couple of half marathons and even that seemed pretty crazy to me. But I needn’t have worried – after three rounds on the track his tongue was hanging down to the hollows of his knees too for we were both getting seriously dehydrated.
After so much heat we decide to relax a little by the pool and then jump on the bicycles for a ride downtown. Our tour led us through Zilker Park, along Town Lake to Congress Bridge with its bat colony and up Congress Street, where I wanted Poochie to see the capitol from afar in all its glory. It is a marvelous sight every single time and so it didn’t disappoint. We also passed by a very lazy 6th Street with all its bars and restaurants; though we didn’t linger for too long, it was after 2 pm and we were getting seriously hungry. Had I seen any clouds in the skies I might have suspected an approaching thunderstorm for the grumbling in our tummies became quite maddening.
We had decided to pay a visit to Franklin’s Bar-B-Q, the place where President Obama oh-so-famously did the unthinkable – cut the line for food. But would you believe it – upon our arrival we found notices adorning the doors saying “Sold out”. We thought of a bad joke or some tactic to chase away tourists. But when we entered the little BBQ place we were informed by a friendly waitress that indeed they were sold out of food. Well, since we cycled all the way there we demanded to at least have a beer. The waitress looked at us for a moment, considered that we might want to cut the remaining line and told us to go sit outside on some metal chairs; she would serve us our beer – which is more than unusual for a self-service restaurant. What a lucky bunch we are!
So instead of packing our bellies with yummy BBQ we feasted on some healthy and most delicious tuna and crab cake salads at a nearby bistro. We were sitting outside under a light mist of water and when we left, the city seemed hotter than ever. We were halfway convinced our tires might melt away on the sizzling pavement any minute now. But all that was melting was – ourselves. We lost sweat by the gallon and had to fill up our water bottles on every water fountain we found. We still passed by both the capitol – where an unfortunate conjunction of circumstances led to the destruction of Poochie’s camera (very sorry for that once again) – and the University of Texas at Austin, UTA, complex. Upon passing a CVS pharmacy Pooch had to go inside to get some cleaning liquid for his lenses (remember, his suitcase hadn’t arrived yet). The mention of lens cleaner led him to tell me the story about how his sister once drank his lens liquid – complete with lenses and all… again: Long story; might be told here some other day.
Because we missed the Bar-B-Q for lunch we decided to head down to the “Land & Cattle Steakhouse”, which is only about half a mile down the road from where we live, for a late dinner. And we sure savored the rib eye and NY strip steak we ordered after our most sporty day. For a moment I considered putting some meat on my arms and feet for they sure looked a little reddish after all the sun exposure 😉
On our return home, we both practically dropped dead, but not before deciding to get up at 6 am again the next day so I could take Poochie down to Town Lake for a long early morning run – long for him meaning a half marathon distance. He too prefers to run outside instead of on the treadmill. And during summer, early morning is the only time you can make it sanely through a good long run around here.
That’s it for now, folks. Thanks for your attention. If you are interested in how Poochie ran around Town Lake and whether I joined him or not… tune in again later this week.
Resources & Sources
- All photos by evozeta
Anstatt unsere Bäuche mit leckerem BBQ vollzustopfen, schlemmten wir dann halt einen gesunden und äusserst köstlichen Thunfisch und Crab Cake Salat in einem nahegelegenen Bistro. Wir sassen draussen unter leichtem, künstlichem Sprühregen und als wir wieder abzogen, schien uns die Stadt heisser den je. Wir waren halbwegs überzeugt, dass unsere Pneus jeden Moment auf dem knallheissen Asphalt dahinschmelzen würden. Doch alles was schmelzte waren – wir selbst. Wir schwitzten literweise und mussten unsere Wasserflaschen an jedem Trinkbrunnen dem wir begegneten, auffüllen. Trotzdem schauten wir sowohl beim Kapitol – wo eine Aneindanderreihung unglücklicher Umstände zur Zerstörung von Poochies Kamera führte – und der Universität von Texas in Austin, UTA, vorbei. Als wir zwischendurch an einer CVS Apotheke vorbeikamen, ging Pooch hinein um sich Linsenreiniger zu kaufen (man erinnere sich: sein Koffer war noch immer nicht angekommen). Die Erwähnung von Linsenreinigungsmittel führte dann dazu, dass er mir die Geschichte erzählte, als seine Schwester dereinst sein Linsenmittel – samt Linsen und allem – getrunken hatte… Und wieder: Lange Geschichte; wird allenfalls ein andermal hier erzählt.
Weil wir am Mittag das Bar-B-Q verpasst hatten, entschieden wir, zu einem späten Nachtessen ins „Texas Land & Cattle Steakhouse“ zu gehen, das nur gerade einen knappen Kilometer von unserer Wohnung entfernt liegt. Und wir labten uns an einem Ribeye und einem NY Strip Steak, das wir uns nach diesem ach-so-sportlichen Tag bestellten. Für einen Moment überlegte ich mir, etwas Fleisch auf Arme und Füsse zu legen, welche doch einigermassen rötlich daher kamen nach dieser ungewöhnlich hohen Sonnenbestrahlung 😉
Daheim angekommen kippten wir fast umgehend wie die Toten um, doch nicht bevor wir abgemacht hatten, am nächsten Tag wieder um 6 Uhr früh aufzustehen, damit ich Poochie zum Town Lake begleiten könnte, weil er einen langen Lauf absolvieren wollte – „lang“ bedeutet bei ihm mindestens ein Halbmarathon. Er zieht es wie ich vor, draussen zu laufen anstatt auf dem Laufband. Und im Sommer ist frühmorgens der einzige Zeitpunkt, zu dem du es in unseren Breitengraden vernünftig durch einen guten, langen Lauf schaffst.
Das wär’s für den Moment, Leute. Danke für eure Aufmerksamkeit. Falls ihr interessiert daran seid zu erfahren, wie es Poochie um den Town Lake geschafft hat und ob ich ihn begleitet habe oder nicht… dann schaut später diese Woche wieder vorbei.
Ressourcen & Quellen
- Alle Fotos von evozeta