I’m in Texas this week. I’m here helping to take care of my father who is recovering from surgery. I probably make it to Texas on business about once a year. Sometimes twice. And I really like Texas. But it is different. Much different from New England. In fact its almost like a different country in some ways.

Take flags. One sees Texas flags everywhere. It’s in logos of businesses and organizations. It’s flying from flag poles and painted on signs. Every classroom in the state has both a US and a Texas flag hanging in the room. Occasionally the Texas flag is larger than the US flag. Intentionally so? Probably not but who knows?

Besides flags there are outlines of the state map in a lot of places. And address signs are always clear that the city, town, county or what ever is in Texas. It’s pretty hard not to know you are in Texas if you can see and pay any attention at all.

Food is different as well. There is steak of course. Though Chicago and St Louis may actually have more and (dare I say it) better steak places. But there are lots of good steak places here. And there is barbeque. I love barbeque and there are other centers of fine barbeque but it is different. The Carolinas and Tennessee have great barbeque but it is different from what you find it Texas. It’s all good and I like it all. But I still take advantage of it when I am in Texas.

Of course there is Tex-Mex. This is one of my favorite foods and Texas is where it is done best. Sometimes it is hard to enjoy Tex-Mex or Mexican food other places until the effects of a visit to Texas have faded a bit. Refried bean are almost inedible in New Hampshire but I love it in Texas. You’d hardly believe its called the same thing in both places. It has so much more taste in Texas.

People are a little different as well. I don’t just mean the accents either. People do wear cowboy boots. You do see cowboy hats and big belt buckles as well. You also see a lot more women showing a lot more cleavage than you do in the north. Lots of heavy makeup and seriously done up hair is more common as well. It looks good on a lot more than you’d expect as well. Although the word “cheap” does come to mind in some cases. But you learn to expect different styles and standards after a while. Either way Texas does seem to have more than their share of attractive women.

Texans are friendly – very friendly. Even you a Yankee like myself. I really enjoy the people in Texas. Helpful, friendly, polite, outgoing, and fun loving. People and food are two reasons I enjoy my Texas visits. I’ll be back in February and am looking forward to it.

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