Memories,  Travel

Squirrel! Austin! Squirrel!

You know, as an Australian abroad, I think I did all Australian’s proud when I went walking around Austin during the daylight to get to Congress I stopped to sit to have a breather under a tree in the gardens around Congress and was instantly surrounded by these little hopping things that were playing, rolling and generally being totally adorable.


We don’t have these in Australia. We have possums. Like this:

Rainforest Retreat@Urliup - 4Rainforest Retreat@Urliup - 6

Ok, so possums more the size of wallaby’s… and I may or may not have cut up some of my watermelon for her.

So anyway, back to my squirrel adventure!! I apologise in advance for my love of squirrels and spamming you all with my squirrel peektures from Austin…

So there I was walking along minding my own business heading up to Congress building…


When I get faced with this in front of me…


Now, being that I’m Australian and we don’t have squirrels in Australia. I might have stopped and stared for a wee bit. Followed by a little jig that I call my happy dance that involves me jumping from one foot to another and shaking my butt squealing like a nerd who just got given her first collectors edition comic.

One of the squirrels, obviously not used to this kind of reaction stopped prancing around with its mate and started to trot over to me to find out what all the noise was about. Little did he know it was just me.



While I was having a good ole chat with Mr Inquisitive up there I noticed that his mate was having a bit of a fun bath at the base of a tree so I trotted over to take some peektures.


After all my squirrelly adventures (ps. I don’t know who said Texans hate gays, their congress is pink. It is totally the gay state people.) I decided that I needed a drink. So off I walked to find me a pub. Or I believe you guys call them bars. Whatever. Somewhere where they had cold cider that I could slurp.

I stumbled upon one that was kind of alternative looking from the outside and decided to check it out. I grabbed a cider, and stomped up their 2 flights of stairs to the roof top to enjoy a mite of people watching while I drank merrily. I noticed I wasn’t the only one that had this genius idea.


As I was sitting there I got approached by a guy who asked if it would be ok to sit with me and share my table as there weren’t any other free tables around. I eyeballed him and decided he was harmless so instead of just nodding (this meant people didn’t hear my accent and get stuck to me) I answered with, please feel free to.

He pulls up a chair and looks out over the main drag and the people across the way singing badly to some song that we can’t hear and laughs. He says “I love this town” – I grin at him. Yes I can see why you would and as we enter mild chit-chat I notice something…

I started to drink my cider and I thought, hmm this doesn’t taste like pear. So I look at the bottle and it has a picture of a pear on it. I lick my lips and it’s definitely not pear. I read the fine print.

APPLE CIDER!!! You sneaky buggers!!!

My new companion finds my ways endlessly amusing and asks how long I am in town and if I’d be ok with him showing me around.


Free tour guide? Who says no to a free tour guide? So I answer with a yes please, that would be really nice!! And while we’re mapping out where we’re going to head to next I see a fire truck making its way down the street and let out a little squeal of delight. UNIFORMS!! So I tried to take a peekture, however I’m going to blame my cider affecting me and the picture being a bit blurry. It wasn’t that I was a bit over excited by the thought of men in uniform at all. No. It was the cider.


We went for a walk, he said that I had to see the bats take off. I was like, huh what? There are bats? He’s like yeah! So I say sure, ok, let’s go. We walk down to the river and sit near my hotel and wait. There’s a lot of people who were starting to appear on the bridge. We had a great spot on the water – there was a jetty sticking out, my feet were splashing. And during this time I found out that he was also Turkish, so we switched from English to Turkish and chatted away merrily as I waited to see what this bat business was about.

I wasn’t disappointed. There was such a stream of bats, it was endless. I went down to watch this every night thereafter while I was in Austin because it was just so beautiful.


So once the sunset he asked what I would like to do. I advised him that after having checked out all the straight bars, I want to go to a gay bar. He blinked at me a few times and asked why. I explained that I was half gay and that is where I feel more comfortable and at home. He nodded at me and led me off to the gay district.

This is the last wobbly picture you’ll see because he pointed out that it was the local lesbian bar and I got a wee bit excited since at home we don’t necessarily have a lesbian bar, we have pubs that cater to the queer folk and Wednesday nights is usually known as girls nights where a lot of pubs will have drag kings and fun stuff for the queer girls.


So I mentioned that I would love to drop off my bag and camera and come back without the burden of these things because then I can drink and make merry.

He said that’s fine, he’ll wait for me at one of the bars. After having dropped off everything I waltzed back, had a beer with him and then we hit the first gay bar. As a straight man he did incredibly well. We had a game of pool while the queens gathered around. I find my Australian accent draws a crowd and I’m way more chattier and sillier with a gaggle of gay boys around me than I ever would be with straight boys. We had such an awesome time that we all flew onto the dance floor and danced a bit to hand bag music before I signalled that we should head to the next one…

Bless his socks, he just nodded and grinned and me as he led me out of the bar and into one a few doors down. We went through all the gay bars dancing, laughing and making new queer friends all over.

I eventually wandered into the lesbian bar to wander out again, he waited outside for me since they wouldn’t let him in due to his not having a vagina or boobs. I find lesbians tend to be cliquey wherever you go. It was no different here. They just weren’t as welcoming as the gay boys.  I went in, had a shot of tequila and then went back out. No one was really very talkative and they were hanging around in groups of about 4-8 girls and just talking to each other.

Once outside again I noticed that somewhere along the dancing, singing and drinking I’d lost my mobile phone. So we went back to alllll the bars again (hard job, but someone had to do it!) and tried to find my phone. This involved a lot of drinking – to help my locating skills.

We didn’t find it in the end and I decided to call it a night after we searched the last gay bar and I was at the point I just wanted to be in bed.

I waved at the Turkish guy as I weaved my way back to my hotel. Sans phone and drunk as. Hangover the next day was spectacular. But it still didn’t beat the squirrels.

SQUIIIIIIIRRRRRRRRRRRREEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLS!!! Let me leave you with a few more pictures of their cuteness….





  • TK

    I didn’t know there were no squirrels in Australia. I think I’s scream and run if I ever saw a possum. The photo you posted does not make them look very friendly.

    • Sharn

      hahaha they err, no, they aren’t really “friendly” per se…

      I left a plate of watermelons on the table on the veranda for said possum in photo then retreated inside behind the screen door so I could take pictures. The nails on that thing scare me silly.

  • Blossom Brouillard

    I think you’re charming. Love the expression “bless his socks”!. I may have to borrow it. Funny thing about Americans…webtend to be much nicer to foreigners. Particularly, Europeans anyway. And while Australia is not Europe, I imagine may wouldn’t know the difference. I was on vacation in Kennebunkport, Maine on vacation once. ( Hone of the Bush family compound.) Being from Chicago and no having an east coast accent, people were incredibly rude and snotty. I had studied dialects previously and decided to don an accent from northern Ireland when shopping. The difference was astounding! It wasn’t the first time I’ve done it. I justc wanted my son tovsee the difference. I wonder what that’s all about.

    • Sharn

      Awwww shucks 🙂 Feel free to. I have noticed that we have a lot of different sayings! I’ve been using urban dictionary a lot to translate!

      Could just be! Everyone thought I was British over there. Not sure why. I’ll blame my ex gf for being British so I might have picked up a bit of her twang!

      Isn’t it interesting the different responses you get!

    • Sharn

      I love Austin too.

      My mother has been on my case about buying a house, I told her I was going to buy one in Austin. She flipped but I was serious Lol love it!

      Thanks, NY should be pretty tame as my cousin is going to be my tour guide! Watch out for the rest of the trip though 😉

  • bethteliho

    You know, I actually think squirrels are pretty damn charming and cute. A lot of people around here h-a-t-e them, actually refer to them as rats with tails! I know they can damage houses and such, but I can see why you’d be so excited to see some!

    Your Austin host seemed very gentlemanly. Much better, Sharn. Interesting to me that the lez bar wasn’t inviting. I guess it sort of makes sense. Chicks can be clicky in any bar.

    THE BATS! Isn’t it fascinating? Love the bats.

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