To celebrate three years living in Austin, Texas, I have made a list of how it has influenced the things I say, some of which make me laugh they seem so foreign coming out of my mouth!
1. “Oh thank goodness, its cooled down!” – Said while seeing that the temps would only reach 95 that day.
2. “I’ll just grab a taco from a truck on the way there” – because you can do this anywhere in Austin, and they’re all delicious.
3. “Is that [restaurant, house, store, etc] North? Then I can meet you there between 1pm and 3pm or after 8pm.” – Traffic is horrendous in Austin. If you live South, it will be impossible to go North during peak times, i.e. 7-9am, 12-1pm or 3-7pm and vice versa. Its a problem but at least we know it.
4. “We can’t plan on having our [event, show, wedding, anything happening anywhere in the vicinity of campus] that weekend, there’s a home game.” – Meaning UT football. Austin is many things and one of those many things is a Texas college town. High schools have huge stadiums, it’s unreal. Football is like nothing I have ever seen here in Texas.
5. “It’s raining, so at least there will be no traffic” – Native Texans do not drive in the rain, ever.
6. “We’re going to [insert any of 20 super popular eateries where no reservations are taken or you have to stand in an hour-long line]? Well, I better eat a snack first” – I will stand in line for over an hour any day for La Barbecue though, it’s worth it. Speaking of which, I also now classify barbecue places by the meat they specialize in.
7. “This rest stop doubles as a Tornado evacuation shelter” – This is for real, the first time I saw one of the signs, I’ll admit I was freaked out. Texas is tornado country and the thunderstorms can quickly escalate, as I recently experienced thanks to the alert piercing through my phone. There are also Tornado sirens in Texas, although I don’t think Austin has them, this fact alone freaks me out. I’m still not completely comfortable talking about tornados, but I’m getting used it. I am also still ticked off by the 2 four-inch divots in my car hood thanks to hail which is common in summer storms.
8. “I’ll most likely just wear a dress and cowboy boots” – Not only did I not own cowboy boots before I moved here, but I certainly would not have worn them with dresses. Now, this combo is my winter staple.
9. “I’m a Texan.” – I’m pretty sure that as the term “Native Texan” exists, transplants are allowed to call themselves Texans.
10. “Babe, will you get the Gecko out of the house?” – Because they often zoom inside, as do palm bugs, which FYI are huge cockroaches that yes, do fly!! Fortunately, in our house, one of us is in charge of large insect removal (crickets are also a huge problem in October!) and the other reptilian.
The one thing I don’t say? “Y’all”. I still use “you guys” which instantly gives away that I’m a Yankee (which I also never say). Thanks for giving me a broader vocabulary Texas, I love living here!