Monday, October 11, 2004

Welcome to Texas

About a few months ago, I remember hearing on the radio certain people's preconceived notions of what they thought Texas was like before they actually got here and what they thought when they were here. I heard so many funny stories. A few included:

1) In Houston, there was a music radio station where the call letters were KIKK. One black lady called in to tell everyone that when her family moved down here and saw a bumper sticker with those call letters, they missed the I in KIKK. They were so scared because they thought that people were brave enough down here to advertise that they were in the KKK.

2) A husband and wife were driving down here during Rodeo season. During that season, people from all over like to ride to the rodeo on horses, wagons, etc. The wife was driving and decided to turn around and go back home because she was not going to live that kind of life. She didn't want livestock. (Who wouldn't?!)

3) I had a friend who was asked if people actually rode to school on horses every morning. (Of course we do! Don't you watch TV?)

Some of these stories actually made me start to think. What do people from the rest of the nation think of the South? I don't really care what anybody else thinks, but I started to wonder why people have such a prejudicial opinion of Southerners. If you speak slowly, you must think slowly. If you speak with a southern twang or jumble your words together, you're unintelligent. I can tell you from personal experience that nothing could be further from the truth.

I noticed quite a bit of difference when I traveled to New York. Up there, you don't speak to anybody on the street. Down south, if you so much as make eye contact with complete strangers, you say "hi" or "hello" or "howdy" or at least crack a smile to acknowledge their presence. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of nice people up north. When I got caught trying to haul a stroller up a flight of stairs while carrying 2 car seats and one of my daughters, some lady offered to help.

Even the food was different. I know that people around the world talk about the fine dining in New York City. It was okay, but it really didn't compare to Houston's restaurants. We were ranked the fattest city in the world based only on the fact that we have more restaurants per square mile than any other city. However, with so many restaurants, you'd better be good or go out of business. As for the service in the New York restaurants, I could only say that it was average, even to the restaurants that the locals were recommending.

These were just some of the things that I noticed and just my opinion as well. Do any of you have recommendations for the next time I'm up there? Or, do you have a funny story about what people think about the South?