Sunday, February 24, 2008

An American Expat in Texas

This is my first blog post: Please bear with me.

After getting my Ph.D. out East in 1993, I moved with my family to Europe, where I lived for 13 years, a little too long honestly. I love Europe, but life as an Expat is very tiring, and often bewildering. More about that sometime later. Moving to Texas was a Big Big surprise. For a while, I felt like an Expat all over again, a stranger in my own country. Back East, old friends would take me aside and ask privately so, how are you managing? Like I had cancer or something. Same with my friends in France and Germany. "Comment ca va chez toi en Texas?" "Kommst du drueben gut zurecht?" (I promise to get circumflexes and umlauts figured out soon). Well, point number one about that is: Texas is great. Especially Houston. They're both a continual happy surprise. The downsides I knew about (pollution, crime, reflexive republicans) but you get those in any big city. Houston is great. More about that later.

Like any Easterner, I had a lot of preconceptions about Texas that turned out not to be true.

Myth: Texans are all conservative Christians.
Myth: Texans all love country music.
Myth: The Rodeo is a boring display of testosterone poisoning.
Myth: Anybody who wears cowboy boots to work is a right winger.
Myth: Texans like watery beer.
Myth: There's no culture in Texas.

I'll write essays on these topics presently too. You're also going to read a lot about politics here.

So, let's see how this looks.

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