Thursday, June 7, 2012

Thursday Tips her Hat to Texas… her Cowboy Hat

To continue this week of where we are from, I came to give y’all a taste of the south. More specifically, I’m gonna talk about Texas.

Weather: HOT! I remember times in the summer where it was too hot to go into a swimming pool since the water was like taking a bath. Since it’s so hot, almost all the indoor places (grocery stores, malls, movies, etc) blast their air conditioning. I’ve been told I exaggerate how hot Texas really is, but I think if it gets over 100 degrees, it’s too hot. The winters are really nice since it’s not too cold, but we still get that little bite of cold that makes it feel like winter (or in most normal places like fall). I can manage wearing a light jacket through the winter. We can do construction all year round (not just in the summer) since it RARELY freezes down here. It doesn’t rain too much here (last year we had a burn ban since it was too dry, and we were susceptible to forest fires :/). It has snowed a little these past few years, but I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been let out of school for bad weather. When it does snow, you'll see people trying to make snow people with our few inches of snow (since snow is so rare, people like to get the full experience while it's still here). The snow people are really impressive though.

Food: I don’t know what it is about the south, but for some reason people like to eat hot food when it’s hot outside O.o. Yeah, I don’t get it either. I mean Mexican food can be super spicy, and everyone puts a ton of spice on BBQ here. Personally, I’d rather chew ice than have to worry about my lips burning. You know your food is hot when you get a case of the sniffes which I have gotten from some very hot Cajun. I am guilty of putting Cajun seasoning on everything though (BBQ, pasta, stews, etc). Spices do preserve food though, so that’s a plus. Tex-Mex is big here. It’s Texas Mexican food. It’s basically American Mexican food. Texas is known for Bluebell ice cream (we have Ben and Jerry’s and those kinda places, but Bluebell is from Texas). People drink a lot of beer here. I don’t think that is just a southern thing though…

Sports: Sports are really big. College sports tend to get the most buzz. Football (which is an all weekend event) more so than others though any reason to tailgate and drink beer seems to be a winner. Hunting is also really big down here. Hunting tends to be a family outing. I’ve seen restaurants (BBQ restaurants mostly) and houses with stuffed animal heads on the wall or animal hide as a rug (these houses are normally in the country though). Hunting isn’t just a guy thing. I know plenty of girls who know their way around a gun better than most guys. I don’t hunt since I’d probably end up with a dislocated shoulder from the blow back or accidentally shoot my foot.

Dialect: This is a weird one for me since I don’t really think I talk different, but I have heard I have a thick accent… I say y’all lot. I say it more than others though, but I have no idea how northerners manage NOT to say y’all. We don’t really say howdy unless you’re an Aggie (meaning you went/ have family who went to Texas A&M). Aggies like to say howdy, gig’em, whoop (for good things) and ssssss (a snake hiss for bad things). I think they are the only university/ college who uses the texasy words. A lot of the people with thick accents tend to take their time when they talk (like they savor their words).

Life: It really depends on where you live. Big cities are really diverse and tend to be pretty liberal. Austin’s slogan is “keep Austin weird” (and they’re proud of it :D!). There is a large Hispanic (since we live so close to the boarder), African, and Asian/ Indian (not as much as the other two) population in the big cities. In the smaller towns, there is still diversity, but not as much as in the big cities. Also, small towns tend to be more conservative. Small towns tend to have more ranches and dirt roads. There are a ton of pretty wildflowers on the side of dirt roads during the spring (blue bonnets, red Indian paintbrushes, etc).

Hot Spots: Tubing is relaxing down here. It’s like a lazy river where people just drink and talk. We have beaches by the gulf. I don’t suggest Galveston beaches though because it’s always super crowded and doesn’t really seem fun. The roads over look the beach like a three feet high concrete cliff. The roads, that over look the beaches, have the beach on one side and beach themed tourist trap restaurants and stores on the other side. The smaller towns on the gulf are my personal favorite since it’s homey and pretty calm (holiday weekends do get kinda crowded though). The waters tend to be really calm, so we don’t get much waves (surfing isn’t likely). Hurricane season is tricky though. Also the water isn’t blue. It’s kinda a grey ish blue. In San Antonio, we have the River Walk. The water is not blue. The River Walk is very photoshopped on its website. It’s a green ish black. There are always ducks on the river though. San Antonio also has Six Flags (so does Dallas). Outside of San Antonio and Austin, you’ll see the hill country where you can do the stereotypical Texas things like horseback riding. We also have the galleria in Dallas and Houston, but most people don’t go there often. It’s way too big. You walk around forever in the Houston Galleria, and there are barely any convenient drink places to grab a refreshing water bottle. The Houston galleria has 375 stores/restaurants and has 2.4 million square feet of retail space (according to their website), so you’re probably going to want a refreshment after walking all that which you can't find. It’s really pretty in the winter when they put up a Christmas tree in the middle of the ice skating rink (on the bottom floor).

Misc: Towns without railroads tend to be ghost towns (this might be the same for all over, but especially in Texas when railroads were important for selling cattle to the north). The sky is huge here (Texas is very flat, so the sky fills up three-fourths of our windshield.) There are a lot of small towns, tourist traps that defiantly utilize our stereotypes. Beware. We get a LOT of birds. Birds suck. They just poop on your windshields and stalk grocery stores and fast food restaurants. Don’t park under a tree during the winter (the birds migrate down here to stay warm). We also don’t have basements because the ground is too dry.

Incorrect Stereotypes: Texas is not all desert. Maybe if you go by El Paso (I’ve never been that way, so I’m not sure). We also don’t wear cowboy boots with spurs or cowboy hats. Well the majority of us don’t. I do have one cowboy hat (hence the title), but it’s pink and five times too small since I got it when I was 7. We do NOT ride horses to school. My cousin thought we were all cowboys in Texas who ride our horses to school. No. We have cars. Pickup trucks and jeeps are popular, but we have BMWs here too. I do know a handful of people who actually own horses, but they don’t ride them to school. Imagine trying to tie up a horse to the bike rack. It wouldn’t be pretty. We are not all rednecks/ uneducated hicks. We are not all super religious Christians. We have a lot of all different types of religions here. Christian is probably the largest, but we aren’t all gonna slap you with the bible if you don’t do the right thing.

Correct Stereotypes: Yes, everything is bigger in Texas :D

Where are y'all from? Do you ever have trouble making setting feel real and not stereotypical?