In case you were wondering, people really do say “Y’all” in Texas—all the time. Even those originally from Ohio adopted the twang.

I think I will have to fully process this experience over many months and years to come, but I can tell you that they missed the memo that they were supposed to walk around in only cowboy boots. These people wear real shoes, like flip flops and flats. They even work and wear suits and drink Starbucks. Who knew?

Traffic. Just a word on this headache. If anyone complains about the DC/Baltimore bumper-to-bumper again, come check out the Dallas grid lock. Huge four wheel drive pickups go off-roading in traffic jams. I can’t make this up. One-by-one they swerve to the nearest grassy area, hop the curb, make a U-turn—whatever it takes to show that this puny time-waster ain’t got nothin’ on them and their precious time.

Life does seem slower here, especially while sitting in traffic. But they have added artistic expression to the city culture over the years, so, yes, the Dallas Art Museum features Picasso and Monet. An art expert gave us a private tour in class today.

And, it turns out that tainted beef travels to Texas too. I learned to avoid ordering a taco salad with beef after 10 p.m. in a Mexican restaurant, especially while USDA recalled over 1.8 million pounds of ground beef across the country. I woke up the next day more thankful than ever for good friends who nurse you back to health. 

I have found life quite difficult without family, friends, and a my trusty Honda Civic. I’ve discovered hidden gems, like couches behind curtains in the library bathroom which they made for nursing moms but looked like a total godsend to me when I found myself stuck at school for nine hours. And I’ve found rides and friends in very unexpected places.

So, if you need a church or a swimming pool, come on down to this flat and wide-open state. And if you need a bigger and newer and better house than what you find, feel free to tear down and rebuild anything. Construction seems contagious in these parts. 

Y’all come see it for yourselves. The Bible Belt does exist.

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