Archive for the ‘Texpats’ Category

I always thought December was winter. White Christmases, pine trees, cold weather. If I would have thought about it, I might have logically matched up the changing seasons with the appointed dates and realized that winter doesn’t start until late December (December 22nd this year to be exact.) Or maybe I would have noticed the bright colored leaves crunching under my bike wheels and feet and known that it was autumn. In Texas, you can’t expect to align with the rest of the world’s ideas of a proper calendar so you just don’t try.

This is all part of the experience of living my first autumn/winter. It’s cold, y’all. And not in a “Oh I can’t go outside” kind of way. Just in a “It’s annoying to go outside” kind of way. The sun is scheduled to set at 3:50 pm. 3:50 PM! That’s still considered afternoon! Google kindly reminds me that is only 3 hours and 50 minutes from when I’m typing this and that sends a sense of panic up my spine. I can’t function under these ridiculous time constraints.

At work I get confused. I don’t know whether to answer the phone “good morning,” “good afternoon,” or “good evening.” I find myself jumbling them up, saying good evening in the afternoon and good afternoon in the morning. I catch myself midway through the greeting and what comes out sounds more like “good moraghdernoon,” to which the client replies “Uh…. hello?”

Please excuse me while I adjust to the existence of seasons.

We’ve installed special lightbulbs in our house to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder. I hope they start working soon.

The sun doesn’t seem to be travelling through the sky. It’s advising me to do the same, to stay close to home where things are safe. The low light filtered through the orange brown leaves and a foggy urban haze cause the entire cityscape to take on a dusky glow. Beautiful? Yes, but something else I can’t place my finger on too.

Read Full Post »

I spent the summer of 2003 working and living in Boulder, Colorado. My coworkers were keen to check out a Mexican food restaurant on Pearl Street. “It’s so good!” everyone kept raving. I then did the ultimate test and consulted a fellow Texas Ex-pat (otherwise known as a Tex-pat) who swore it was true.

So I went. What I found on my plate was barely edible. Hard tortillas sprinkled with burnt cheddar cheese and a few chewy shrimp tossed on top. Avocado-like sauce that was labeled as guacamole.

I brought this data back to the Tex-pat “Well, I only really drink the margaritas there,” she confessed. She could have told me that from the start and saved me the disaster on a plate.

This experience was just prepping me for the severe Mexican food I would find in Europe. I found this gem in a hotel restaurant in Foxford, Ireland last month.

Cooked in soy? Served with rice and CHIPS ? That’s french fries, you Americans. Cost €14-€16? Um, no thanks.

Future Tex-pats, stock up on tortillas now and consider yourself warned.

Read Full Post »