Deep in the Heart of Texas

Uthj0ap0T%irKB6FNEcUtQAirplane time offers up an opportunity for blogging, reflecting…not necessarily in that order.

Traveling in Texas was altogether interesting.  And having the advantage of friends and family to be our tour guides was invaluable.  Yes, we still had to schlepp our bags which as thus far only resulted in one mishap as yo jumped on the escalator in Mexico City.  I lost control of my carry-on for my computer/iPad  and it tipped over head first so to speak and landed pointing down the escalator two steps below me.  Snatched it up at the last second with a jujitsu move that was quite impressive if I do say so myself. 

But I digress.


Back in Austin, the refrain was always the same…no taxes.  We don’t pay state income tax.  They think we Californians are crazy.  This is reflected in their political TV commercials as well as in conversations with strangers in stores, in queue at the airport.  “You can have it”, the younger man said when we mentioned that we were from California.  This bares considering.  How can they have such wonderful roads and good looking modern schools and pay no income taxes?  We wonder.  We did notice a lack of safety features like handrails on steep grades in the public park.  But is that all?  This must be investigated as soon as I get a signal and log on to the internets.  I am jealous that it only take a $72 registration fee to drive your car.    Is there a breaking point, I wonder?  A place where the rubber meets the road (as good as they are)? 

We have arrived in Oaxaca and have a fabulous little apartment in zona centro.  It is a dream. So, we are tired.  Have been on quite a journey and I’m taking a little breather to do some Texas research.  GTS is a new acronym that means Google That Shit.  So, I looked at education which is near and dear to my heart.  Here’s what I found.  They  beat out California K-12.  Yikes.  Okay, what else?   California outperforms Texas in healthcare, ranking 1 in public healthcare in the nation.  So there is that.  Our economy outperforms theirs which puts the idea that taxes kill business in the dubious claims department.  We are neck in neck in opportunity but we are both at the bottom of the barrel in that category.  They rank higher in infrastructure and that does not surprise me.  It is great.  Public safety is lower for Texas despite a cop behind every tree.  We saw mucho grande police action in Texas.  The only thing they had more of was bars.  They ranked higher on fiscal stability which makes me question these numbers from the U.S. News and World Report.  So…it is was interesting to look at the study.  And I’m glad I live in California and glad to have visited Texas!!


On to other observations.  Johnnie, Rayman’s bro, reports that Austin had 90 days over 100 last year.  Ouch.  And they just had a record breaking rain storm that has locals boiling their water before drinking.  So, Texas has some pretty awful weather in my estimation.  Born lucky, I’ve ended up on the Pacific Ocean which is mild year round.  Isn’t this priceless?  Probably unless you are in a service job and have two kids.  Dollars are stretched for those of that circumstance. 


It has a diverse population with lots of Mexicans and black citizens.  A smattering of Muslins based on observations of women’s outfits.  Some Asians.  It is very young.  We left feeling ancient. 



Texans pride themselves in their “Texiness”.  Lots of boots and cowboy hats.  Lots of flags flying.  American flags.  Texas flags (the one with the lone star).  Theirs is an air of superiority over all others (from other states).  Egos, perhaps as big as that star of Texas.  Vast amounts of the state are covered with sagebrush and appear uninhabitable (think West Texas).  Around the hill country there are loads of oak trees and rolling hills make it a very pretty place.   Lack of water is a problem.  They have been in a drought.  Just like California.  Texans don’t qualify as cult status but they sure are enamored with themselves…(generalities here.  Our friends and family are not included!!).


The food is good but I love authentic Mexican food.  We ate well.  And enjoyed it very much.  Did I mention how much I like authentic Mexican food? 



Trucks are everywhere.  My heaven’s.  Never seen so many trucks.  Gas guzzling trucks that get by on $2.39 per gallon.  After all, it is oil country.  So they stimulate the economy by driving around in big honking trucks.  Prius cars are an endangered species.  May have sighted one
Tesla.  Few hybrids.  In the countryside, it’s all trucks all the time. 


Texans are very friendly and so are we.  So we got along famously with everyone we met.  Yes, sir.  No, Mam.  Lots of that going on.  Sweet really.  

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