Wandered down to BookPeople, an enormous independant bookstore in downtown Austin. Seriously, this beast was three stories, twice the floorspace of the largest chain bookstore i've ever been in. They really aren't kidding about the "everything is bigger in Texas" thing. Unfortunately they only had the huge Erikson paperbacks, so I'm still stuck with Sophie's World.
The bus left at 7:30 that night - I wound up sharing it with another hosteller, Greg. It took me about an hour of awkward conversation before I realized that he was not Joe, the guy I had been talking with the day before. In my defense they were both tall, slightly scruffy and English (all English people look alike? does this make me racist?). After I clued in and apologized we go talong much better. We pulled into New Orleans at 630 the next morning, shuffled off the bus like zombies and stared blankly at a series of maps for half an hour before figuring out where we were and where we needed to go. Unfortunately we were at different hostels so I was on my own.
The India House is a big shambling old mansion - the inside is full of murals and assorted random junk, it is almost aggressively bohemian. I am going to attempt to take pictures, descriptions can't really do it justice. It's like a frathouse, if the fraternity was coed and made up of hippies and hipsters, with less things broken. Passed out in a dorm for a few hours, woke up around one and headed to the French Quarter to explore. Had the traditional cafe au lait and beignets at Cafe du Monde - the coffee is excellent, the beignets are exactly like every other fried doughnut thing that every single culture has a variant of. You can call it whatever you want, you can have the most elaborate recipe, but when you throw a lump of dough in a deep fryer and smother it in powdered sugar you have to accept that most of the delicate flavours are going to be obscured by delicious sugary grease.