Texas has always been a mystery to me. I have been to Dallas more than a few times, as well as Houston, and San Antonio, which was my favorite Texas city. I guess I just don’t get it. In a big state, with high school football, beer, and pick up trucks, what is it about Texas that leaves me wondering?
I hear Austin and the big South by Southwest Music Festival is a great place to visit. But I am stuck in Dallas, much like I was stuck in Lodi one summer, long ago. But the phrase, “Everything is bigger in Texas” has lost its charm once Alaska joined the U.S. But nothing seems to have changed their “Texas-sized” attitude, particularly to out of state visitors and foreigners. Speaking of, do I need a passport and visa to get into Texas? I have often heard that it is a foreign country, and they seem to flaunt that concept!
For starters, Texas is ranked as the third worst state in the country for healthcare. Yet, it has only the 15th highest ranked obesity in our country. As far as cities go, Houston was ranked 6th, and Dallas 7th, as far as obesity rates among American cities. And it is ranked 42nd in percentage of residents who exercise regularly.
To combat the state’s large size and rough terrain, extensive highways and railways have helped compensate for the vast distances. From the Dallas area, trucks can reach 93% of the population in the U.S. within 48 hours. Texas also has 730 airports, second most in the states. They also have 1150 seaports along their ample coastline. And they have over 14,000 miles of railway, first in the country again.
Here are some good Texas words that I have heard so far: catty whompus, all swole up, fixins, fess up, waller, nu-uh (no), looker (pretty girl), gully washer, and hissy fit. And that does not count paaahd-nah, maaaaam, and little ole. LIke I said, bring your passport and a translation book. This is Texas.