So it’s been exactly two months since I first arrived in San Antonio, TX, and, like my bug-bite-free skin, my blogging seemed to disappear this summer. Man, and I was doing so well with the weekly posts! Guess that happens when your job is your life seemingly 24/7. Granted, I could’ve probably found the time to blog, but we can’t all be Wonder Woman.
I do have some things to share about San Antonio, though–and more broadly, Texas. I could type you up some long blog post detailing exactly my experiences and what not, but let’s face it: I’m too lazy to do that, and you probably equally don’t want to read that. So, instead, I thought I’d make a nice little list for you all.
First, though, I want to make note that for a first job–even though it was only a temporary gig from the get-go–I had a lot of fun. It was a really good experience to work in a new city that I had never been to, and a state that I was not really familiar with. It gives me hope for my upcoming venture into the wild land out west. So, without further ado, The Things About Texas that I discovered during my time in San Antonio:
1) Texas is full of terrible drivers. I don’t care what you say about Los Angeles, New York, Boston, or Chicago–San Antonio has the WORST drivers in America. I don’t even understand it, because you would assume that, being in Texas where nearly everyone has to drive in order to get anywhere, everyone would have plenty of experience driving and therefore plenty of common sense while driving. This seemingly logical assumption is completely false. I don’t know if it’s the water, or simply the way Texans evolved from riding horses, but the drivers are complete idiots. Perfectly nice people outside of their vehicles, but complete idiots once they get behind the wheel. (Sorry San Antonio friends. Some of you have proven yourselves capable drivers, but the majority rules here.)
2) This brings me to my next point, which is that Texas traffic is HORRIBLE. So it’s not bumper-to-bumper 30 mph or slower traffic during awfully long rush hours like LA, but in LA’s defense, at least there’s an expected routine. In Texas, you can be driving down the road at 3pm on a Sunday and find yourself suddenly in the middle of nerve-wracking bumper-to-bumper traffic for the next forty minutes (this happened to me). And I-35 in Austin is just Hell on Earth. Seriously, someone please get some monorails in these towns or something. Maybe a public metro of helicopters–really, anything else would suffice the cruel and unusual punishment that is Texan roadways.
3) Everything IS bigger in Texas, including the mosquitoes. Thank God vampires aren’t real because I swear, the way mosquitoes love me, I’d last about five seconds in a Vamp world. I went through FOUR cans of bug spray (on my own!) this summer. I was layering the stuff on three times a day (yes, I probably have some weird cancer now) and still getting bug bites the size of quarters. QUARTERS! Do you know how uncomfortable that is when you’re laying in bed at night and you’re trying to fall asleep?
4) If you ever want to be able to buy a margarita anywhere else in the country and not feel like you just wasted $10, don’t drink in Texas. If there’s one thing Texas has right, it’s the tequila. The first two or three you try will make you feel like you’ve just had alcohol for the first time in your life, but after that, everything else will taste like cheap sugar water. Texas knows how to drink.
5) Southern hospitality makes itself subtle in its Texan manners. Granted, my experience with Southern hospitality is limited to ten days I spent in Alabama two years ago, but man, did they lay it on thick there! Midwest manners are much more subtle, but also a bit more honest, if you ask me. (Which, btw, apparently it’s a thing that some people believe Kansas is technically Southern and not Midwest. Woah! Mind blown.) In Texas, however, just like the geography, the southern hospitality meets midwest manners. You’ll often find that Texans are extremely generous and welcoming, but they also tend to be a bit more genuine than what I would consider true southern hospitality. So, ten brownie points to Texas, kind sirs and madams.
6) San Antonio is a Catholic haven. I lived on Trinity University’s campus, close to downtown, but still a drive (you have to drive literally every where). Within short commuting distance was four cathedrals and a couple churches. Not to mention the ruins of the (I believe it’s six) missions that include the famous Alamo. Oh, and they still do services at the San Jose mission ruins. Talk about never letting tradition die. However, to any Catholics who have ever found themselves in the heart of the Bible belt and felt awkward because there’s literally a protestant church on every corner, but the only Catholic church is on the other side of town and you’re given judging stares for asking how to get there, San Antonio is a true gem. It’s most certainly a religious cultural opportunity.
7) TEXAS HEAT IS NOT DRY. In the months leading up to my leaving for Texas, all I kept hearing was, “The heat is horrible there, but at least it’s a dry heat, so it doesn’t feel as bad as it does here.” Dry heat this, dry heat that. I had high hopes, Texas, and you failed me, miserably. San Antonio was so humid, I swear it was more humid than Orlando, FL, which is really saying something–I think–because Florida is the most claustrophobicly humid place I have ever visited. Why? Why does Texas nature get such a sadistic kick out of making me miserable??
8) Texas goes on forever. On my drive home, my goal was simply to make it out of Texas that first day. I had such an adrenaline high from making it across the Texas border that I didn’t even keep track of time and I was within an hour of home before I even looked at the clock and went, “Oh. I’ve been driving for nearly twelve hours now.” Seriously, Texas is so big.
9) Texans really like to point out the fact that they were once a country. Though, I’m not sure the logic behind this, because they are no longer their own country, so really they’re only point out and bragging about their own failure…Sometimes, I think logic is suppressed by all of that state pride they have.
10) Texans are very proud of their state, in a strange way. Seriously, I can’t wrap my mind around it. The state is big, bulky, hot, and full of bad drivers. What seems like 3/4’s of the state is nothing but desert prairie and cacti, and their state schools have terribly ugly colors (Seriously, orange doesn’t look good on anybody [Sorry Austin]). Yet they will defend their state til the die, fly the state flag at the same height as the USA flag (they can do that, I guess) and brag about any facts they think are good about their state to anyone who will listen. (The favorite as far as I’ve found is that Beyoncé is from Houston.)
11) Texas is a lot of fun. There’s lots to do, lots of people to meet (and try to avoid on the road) and a whole ‘lotta history. So, despite how negative this list–or maybe I should call it a vent session–is, Texas is actually a pretty cool place to visit. Note, I said visit. I would never, EVER live there.
So, I’m not sure if Davy Crockett knew exactly what he was saying when he wrote this line, but either way he was condemning himself to his death–for better or worse than hell, we may never know. (But probably better. I don’t think Texas is as bad as hell).
Be on the lookout, because in the upcoming weeks I will start my new journey out west to LA, and I plan to be blogging about it madly. Expect weekly updates on a set weekday that I just haven’t decided on yet.