The View from Up North

What does a transplanted Yankee notice about Texas?


Pickles are everywhere! 

You can get pickles at the ball game, at the movies, and they’re even sold by kids as fundraisers.  And there are many other varieties of pickled foods that you might not find elsewhere, too: Okra, onions, peppers, eggs, pigs’ feet, peaches, garlic, asparagus, and even something called apple kraut.  I am usually a fairly adventurous foodie, but I cannot bring myself to try many of these Texan delicacies.  Then again, I’m not a fan of the most mainstream of pickles.


After you live here for a while, you suddenly find that you can understand “Boomhauer” on “King of the Hill.”

After living here for a year or so, I came to the abrupt and unexpected realization that I could now understand what Boomhauer is saying.  I had no idea that he was such a philosopher.  The statements he makes are more profound than his mumbling-and-bumbling speech would indicate to the casual listener.


“When it rains, it pours.”

I come to Texas by way of Seattle, and the first time there was a significant rain and my boss said, “Holy crap!  It’s raining!  I need to get home NOW!” I thought she was insane.  The big difference between rain here and in the Pacific Northwest is that here the rain has nowhere to go, resulting in floods.  Every year heavy rain comes in the spring and every year the residents of Texas living near creeks, rivers, and streams are shocked and indignant at the flooding.


Belt Buckles and Bling

I might not be true that everything is bigger in Texas, but it’s certainly accurate when it comes to belt buckles and bedazzling.  Even Texans who’ve never ridden a horse, touched a live cow, or towed a trailer with some variety of animal in it feel entitled to huge buckles and rodeo bling.  Texas is a land where you can buy rhinestone encrusted flip-flops at the feed store and ten-inch sparkly cross necklaces with faux zebra fur and turquoise accents at the 7-11.


Different words are homonyms in Texas.

When my sweetheart uses the Speech-to-Text function on his phone and says, “Right,” the phone will just as often interpret this to be “Rat” or “Rot.” This can result in correcting “You’re right,” to “You’re a rat.” – Believe me, it really can.  Also “hell” and “hail” are pronounced the same way here.  One time, a friend’s son asked if we could play his CD in the truck.  “It has one bad word on it.  I hope that’s OK,” he told me.  Turns out that the song had a lyric in it about “thunder and hail”, which he thought was actually “thunder and hell.”



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