Moving to Texas
Moving To Texas
I grew up in the South. That is the South side of Chicago. You might have needed to ask around, but without much trouble you could find real Chicago pizza, or real Polish sausage, or great Greek food all of which I loved. The one type of food I didn’t like was Mexican. They sold it down at Snyder’s Hot Dog Stand. It came wrapped in paper and was called a tamale. Tamales lost out to steamed hot dogs with mustard and onions every time.
I left Chicago at our government’s request to take up residents at Forbes Air Force Base in Topeka Kansas. After the Air Force said they no longer needed my services, I stayed on in Kansas for 10 years. During those years I built, lived in and sold several houses. Being an above average amateur DIY person I came to know a lot about houses and how they were made. That is until I moved to Texas.
Never in a Kansas builder’s wildest dreams would a plumbing line be run in an unheated attic. Just the very thought of a possible power failure and pipes freezing would send shivers through their soul. I didn’t know it was done in Texas either until my neighbor in Dallas went on a ski vacation. The pipes in the attic froze and then thawed. It was not a pretty site (pun intended).
Learning the Texas way required an adjustment to language skill and thinking skill. I was slow to pick up the fine distinction between “y’ all” and “all y’ all”, but I was quick to learn why trips were measured in hours rather than miles. I finally got it down when one of our boys wanted to know where in Texas was Kansas. How things are done in Texas is just different from the rest those other 49 states.
Which brings me back to my discovery of real Mexican food. I married my Texas bride and over the last 35 years she has helped me enjoy, savor, and consume some of the best food I have ever eaten. I don’t do peppers, jalapenos, or green chilies well, but then again not everyone does. I suspect that back when Texas won their independence they decided to keep the enchiladas, tamales at Christmas, tacos, refried beans, rice, and homemade tortillas a secret. Based on my experience from my last trip up North, the secret is still being kept.
Moral – Never assume people who live other places think and eat like you.