With my MBA girls visiting, myself and a recently established Houstonian classmate, had to show them Austin – Texas style. I cannot take much of the credit, since she planned most of the weekend (love planners!!), but I can certainly write about it.
One of the highlights of the weekend was a visit to Red’s Indoor Shooting Range, where we got shoot guns, for the first time for most of us. Imagine this, a gun shop, with stacks of rifles and hunting equipment, and then suddenly come in 6 preppy girls, with make-up, heels and purses and ask to rent some guns. Charlie’s Angels comes to mind.
After bugging the attendant with a multitude of questions, we were somehow given 2 guns, one of them had small bullets and another had 9mm ones (This is the extent of what I gathered from the explanation). One of the guns had a safety button (smart!).
I was having a minor moral dilemma with the idea of using hot weapons as all the recent news around the world kept coming to mind. I asked him what do people use the various guns for, expecting some kind of creative response. He said mostly hunting, and after some pressure elaborated on the obvious things that come to mind.
Since I read Shantaram, I knew all there is to know about fighting in Afghanistan in the 1980’s, and so I asked the guy to show me his Kalashnikovs. To my surprise, pulled out an AK-47, that was just lying there next to the cash register. I asked for an AK-74, but he didn’t have one. He also didn’t know anything about exploding hollow tip bullets that became illegal by international law…
Anyhow, we did pretty well with these guns, and no injuries were reported. Before leaving, one of the older employees was sweet enough to hand us a rifle each and take lean-mean pictures of the six girls going to war.
To my great shame, I must admit that in my five years of living in Austin, I never went to see one of its main attractions – the bats under the Congress Bridge. Well, I got an opportunity to finally see them this weekend and I am grateful for it. Definitely, one of the most amazing sights I’ve ever seen. We took a small boat tour and I was expecting to see just a bunch of bats hanging from below the bridge. It was not so. Around 8pm, the bats started flying from the bridge, towards east. There were millions of them, literally millions, all leaving one after another. This looked like the flight of a pack of locusts. It lasted for a good 5-10 minutes, and the guide said that they will continue to fly out until 12 am.
The other funny point was when the guide described the high real-estate price on the newly built apartments in downtown Austin. He mentioned a $400k price tag for a 1-BD apartment of 1,100 sqft. Our immediate reaction: “wowwwww… so cheap!!!”. So New York.