HEY, remember that time I said I was moving to San Antonio? Well, that happened. And, woops, almost 3 months has gone by, and none of you have any idea what I’m doing down here. Since we FINALLY FINISHED our coverage of #EuroTrip2013, I have no choice but to fast forward to my current life as a real person working in the state of Texas.
Rather than putting up a bajillion pictures and saying, “this is what I do now!”, I thought I’d write one of our ever favorite Random Observations posts (thanks for the suggestion, Abigail) to give you a feel for what I was greeted with upon stepping out of the Uhaul.
The most basic observation I can make up front is… Texas is practically a different country. If you’ve read more than 2 posts on this blog, you’ve probably gathered that I’m definitely ok with that – I even prefer it! I just didn’t know it was a feeling I could get without a passport. That being said, here are some of the confusing, hilarious, delightful things that I’ve noticed since moving down south:
1. “You guys” = “y’all”. Always. This is so true that I’ve gotten to the point of feeling awkward saying “you guys” out loud, and have switched to “you all”. I’ll be honest, sometimes the words get kind of strung together, but I have yet to commit to the full changeover.
2. I live in a city, so I figured that the country influence wouldn’t be as noticeable as in rural parts of the state, but I quickly realized I was wrong. No one bats an eyelash at the people walking around wearing boots and cowboy hats.
Being a farm girl, it didn’t blow my mind too much, but it still makes me giggle when I think about how friends are going to react to this cultural nuance when they come visit (ABI’S COMING NEXT WEEKEND!!). No human can deny how adorable tiny children are in rainbow-colored cowboy boots, though. Creeper pics to come.
3. Texas loves Texas more than anywhere else on the planet. Don’t try to convince anyone that there’s anywhere better. Remember that American flag trend I noticed in Europe? Replace that with the Texas flag, and you’ve got it right.
I can’t even pretend to estimate the amount of Texas tattoos I’ve seen.
How I’ve noticed the influence of Texas pride in my job is that Hershey reps in Texas call on, mainly, two accounts: Walmart and the local grocery chain, H-E-B. H-E-B is the ONLY company that can legitimately compete with the corporate monster that is Walmart, and I think it has a large part to do with the Texas branding that they know works wonders down here.
4. Everything really is bigger: state pride, school pride, vehicles, food portions, opinions, malls, dancehalls, bugs, religion, barbecue, football… I could go on forever. Don’t believe me? I refer you to an always trustworthy BuzzFeed article.
5. People actually dance. On my first night out with some girls from Texas, this conversation happened…
“I’m actually not from Texas.” “Oh! So you don’t know how to really dance.” …
— Alexa Verink (@alexa_verink) July 4, 2013
I was thinking, “well, you’re right, but that’s a pretty bold claim to make based on what state I’m from.” What she meant was that I didn’t know how to two-step, which was even more true. If you go to any bar, you can expect to see people two-stepping to the country songs. I’ve since learned the basics and been spun around the dance floor a few times, but there’s progress yet to be made.
6. Chivalry is not dead. It’s a small gesture, but when you’re not used to it, having doors held open for you feels like having someone lay a red carpet down at your feet.
To tie this observation with the one about dancing, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that guys genuinely want to dance when they ask you to do so, and that’s all that it has to be about. I’m not saying there’s never an ulterior motive, but, similar to what we learned about Chileans, they will politely ask you if you’d like to dance, thank you for it when the song ends, and there’s no assumption that you’re then tied to that person for the rest of the evening and need to either give up your number or beat them away with a stick.
7. It’s not necessarily a Texas-only thing, but I was ecstatic to find out that sand volleyball is a lot more popular down here. I literally don’t know how I would have made friends without it.
8. This place is an oven. In preparation for her upcoming trip down here, Abi asked me yesterday, “is it still hot by you?” To which I replied, “upper 90s/low 100s every day.” You decide. Because of this, water is a way of life. No big plans for the weekend? Floating the river easily sucks up a whole day, in the most relaxing way possible.
You can be sure to find every other Texas resident out there with you.
9. Whataburger is king.
They even sell Whataburger ketchup in grocery stores, and I’m pretty sure it does better than Heinz. As a former Pittsburgh resident, this is heartbreaking.
And as a vegetarian, I have a feeling this is one of the Texas trends I won’t be embracing.
10. Downtown San Antonio is pretty. 🙂
Welcome to my life.