God Bless Texas

Tonight is the last of my 12 nights in Texas, tomorrow I'll head to San Diego for a couple days and then finally I'll head back home.  To Australia.  Because that's where I live :)!  It's been really interesting experiencing this country having seen a different perspective, and I really wish Phil could have experienced this with me because it is such a trip rediscovering the things we used to think were normal.

I found myself turning onto the wrong side of the road once, but it was only with intense effort that it didn't happen more often.  Driving here is so confusing because now I've  learned another way and it's really hard to keep track of which way is "right."  The vehicles here are so big, but fortunately the parking spots are equally as large.  Gas is so cheap - though I've heard a few people complain that it's expensive.  Can you imagine paying $6 a gallon?  That's basically what it costs in Oz.  Forget about paying at the pump here - apparently with foreign credit cards you have to prepay inside.  It's not exactly intuitive trying to figure out how much money it will take to fill the tank of a rental car.  But hey, at least they have those pumps that you can latch and the little plastic piece that keeps the fumes from spilling out.  Filling up the tank in Oz is a smelly affair.

The food is unbelievably cheap here, and the portions, beyond ridiculous.  Several times I have found myself double-checking the receipt because there's just no way that much food could cost so little.  A main, sides, AND a salad?  For under $20?!  I had forgotten how much food is a normal serving here.  I used to save half of my meal for lunch.  In Oz it's normally just the right amount - and for twice the price.  But you know what, I don't mind paying more, because the food has less preservatives, is most likely not being imported, plus I know the people serving it make a decent wage and earn good retirement benefits and vacation time.

It's really nice that stores are open after 5 pm here.  There have been several times we've tried to run errands after work only to realize that the store closed before I even left from work.  And the shopping, O, how I've missed it.  Lets just say I've spent two full weekends shopping and leave it at that.

But the thing that really struck me is that Texas really isn't that much different than Australia.  There's lots of barren land, strange weather, and rednecks with funny accents. And to think I used to make fun of Texas!


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