How do I know I'm in Texas?
1. The smiles: People are much more friendly here.
2. The waves: Drivers here are a little more courteous. They let you change lanes, and they wave when you let them in.
3. The prices: Food here is cheaper. Gasoline here is cheaper. Unfortunately the houses in the city aren't cheaper.
4. The weather: The high today was 90.
5. The boots: I see cowboy boots everywhere.
6. Access roads: Here there are roads next to the freeway. That's the way it should be.
7. Dedicated U-turn lanes: The freeways have dedicated U-turn lanes, so if you missed your exit, you can easily flip a U-y and get back on track. Even without the U-turn lanes it is a lot easier to switch directions on the freeways.
8. Big trucks: Actually, there are less of them than I thought there would be, but enough that I think that Smart Cars shouldn't be allowed on the roads here. Don't get me started on how "safe" a Smart Car is. That kinetic energy has to go somewhere.
9. H-E-B!: H-E-B is a grocery store. They actually don't have them everywhere in Texas, but we have one within walking distance. When I moved to Fort Worth 12 years ago I cried because they don't have H-E-Bs there. The selection is good, the prices are good. They also have an upscale version--Central Market. H-E-B and CM make me happy.
10. The restaurants: There are Mexican restaurants everywhere. And we have lots of BBQ. We have lots of restaurants period. And the pizza parlors here serve pizza--not pizza and subs and pasta and Greek food.
11. Taxes: sales tax here is 8.25%, but there isn't any state income tax.
12. The space between: Between cars--people don't tailgate here--as much. Between houses: Some areas have just started building rowhouses, but most homes here are single family, with a lawn between the houses.
13. Litter: People don't litter here nearly as much as they do in Maryland. I don't see it piled up in the medians at the stoplights. I've only seen one person chuck a cigarette out the window. I've actually seen some folks pick stuff up and put it in a trash can.
14. Grackles: Grackles are birds. Kinda like ravens. We have tons of grackles here. I need to get a good photo or video of when they are hanging out in the trees at dusk, squawking all ominously like something out of a scary movie.
15. Whataburger: Can't really describe this fast food burger joint. I don't think Ross has had a Whataburger yet.
That is all I can think of right now. I'll post more as I think of them.