It’s been a while since the last time I posted. Quiet a lot of things can be used as an excuse such as a festive season, work schedule, or lack of internet at home. Every single one of those excuses are valid, but the bigger reason is the state of Texas. It’s just different. That’s why I decided to dedicate this post to my observations of the so called “Lone Star State”, 40 days after moving here. Texas; Just what does this remind us of: Cowboys? Poker? Drug cartels down the border? George Bush? El Paso? I guess those things quickly spring to mind, and all of them are true. In this post though, I opt to discuss other Texas-related observations than those mentioned above, including religion, lifestyle, culture, business, and did I mention driving ?!
When I lived in Poland this past summer, I thought to myself it’d be quiet an achievement to come across a group of people as religious as the elderly Poles in the West. I was dead wrong. Texans take faith to a whole new level. It’s no surprise one has to drive to Oklahoma border to access a Casino from Texas. Observing peoples’ social profiles, there is a lot of emphasis on “god” , “Jesus” , “Bible”, and conservatism. To be fair, this is expected at a state where the Republicans are clearly dominant. I would imagine the concept of abortion is as frowned upon here as it was in Poland. Moving on from people’ beliefs, there is a refreshing lack of multiculturalism here compared to Toronto. That sounded terrible, didn’t it?! I think I’ve had my very fair share of multiculturalism after living for close to a decade in Toronto, so it’s interesting to experience the other side of the tide. Proud Texans are of course dominant. Hispanics, unsurprisingly, have a strong representations here. Other than that, you’ll come across some Middle Eastern and Asians once in a while. Considering the monumental growth and development of DFW in the last few decades, I won’t be surprised the slightest if the level of multiculturalism gradually grow in the area. The unoccupied lands and space in the state will eventually be targeted in my opinion.
Having provided a somewhat balanced overview, I think it’s time for me to list my complaints about the Endless Roads State. Yes ! that’s what I believe Texas should be called. I can confidently say I’ve driven more miles in 40 days in Dallas, than I had done previously in 22.5 years of my life elsewhere. You either drive, or you basically don’t live. An average person has to drive close to 3 hours a day as a daily routine to satisfy the most basics human needs. The concept of public transportation is pretty much non-existent. There is no compression in the city whatsoever. Everything is spread out. There are tens of smaller towns forming the Dallas Forth Worth area, and everything is all over the place bar a small, yet non-flashy downtown area. The state’ economy is brilliant compared to majority of its peers, but that’s what basically it is; A state built for family-life and great platform for economic prosperity in auto and housing industry. As much as any one of us loves a good whinge, it’s not all doom and gloom either. The weather is absolutely fantastic in winter time, which makes a great change for someone who’s used to 6-layer dressings in -40 Winters. As I am writing this post, it’s +8 degrees Celsius (I refuse to become a Fahrenheit person), expecting to rise to 16 degrees in a few hours. Not a single sane person would complain about this weather on 14th of January. In addition to weather, people (When you somehow get the chance to meet them) are generally nice and welcoming. It may not have my ideal “cafe lifestyle” of meeting people, but you’d interact regularly with new people at work every day, and they’re almost always up for a good chat. From what I’ve heard, Texas becomes one hot mess in summer time, so I guess I shall make a escape plan in the next few months.
All in all and as cliche as it sounds, every place has its pros and cons. Those long, frustrating daily drives become easier when conducted under warm sunshine. Its extremely Non-Europeanesque nightlife gets cancelled out by ability to pay back the student loan much faster. You can’t have the best of everything at every single stage of life. In summary, I see Dallas as your stereotypical capitalistic city. There are very few sights or interesting places to see in town. JFK assassination spot, Deep Ellum at a push, and uhm, that’s pretty much it. However, if you’re into shopping, there are countless malls that will make you all giddy inside. Sounds perfect for the American dream, doesn’t it?!