Texas is a diverse and great place to live, but we aren’t complicated. Despite that, there are just some things that non-Texans won’t ever understand until they live here.
1. Queso is not just melted cheese
When I travel “abroad” to any of the other 49 states, and I make my way in to a Mexican restaurant occasionally there will be menu item listed as “chips and queso”. I put that phrase in quotation marks because normally what I am served is not chips and queso as we know it. It is a sorry substitute consisting of stale chips and melted cheese.The chips are terrible and the “queso” is just melted yellow cheese. There is no flavor, and there is rarely anything else mixed in it.
The other 49 states take the translation of the word Queso a little too literally when applying it to this dish in my opinion.
2. Not all Tacos are created equal
Don’t get me wrong, I like a good Taco Bell taco as much as the next guy, but in reality they pale in comparison to a really good street taco. A good fajita or barbacoa taco from one of those little Mexican restaurants all over the state beats them all in a head to head competition. There’s no debating it. It’s truth. If you disagree, you’re probably from Maine or Idaho. Neither of which are places deemed authorities on Mexican food.
3. Bragging about Buc-ee’s bathrooms
I know it sounds weird to brag about how clean a rest stop’s bathrooms are, but seriously, have you used a Buc-ee’s bathroom before? They really are the cleanest bathrooms on the planet. I’m sure people from other states have no idea why we’d brag about such things, but Texas is a big state. We have to drive long distances to get around. We occasionally have to stop at some nice rest stops and, well, not-so-nice rest stops. Believe us when we say, Buc-ee’s bathrooms are the best.
4. How big the state is
I’m pretty sure the rest of the country thought we were crazy when we upgraded some of our highways to 85 miles per hour. The people who thought we were crazy have probably never had to drive between Beaumont and El Paso. If they had, they’d understand how big this state is.
Occasionally I’ll get a call from someone out of state who wants me to “just cruise on over to Lubbock from Austin” or “swing by Houston when I’m free” to do something for them. I have to remind them that unlike their puny state, ours takes time to drive across.
5. The way we pronounce certain words
Rio Grande, Boerne, and Guadalupe are just three of the many words that aren’t pronounced the way they look. Nothing makes a non-Texan who is visiting stick out more than hearing them try to pronounce em. The Texan language is a complex and diverse as the folks who use it. Just because a word may have spanish, german, or native American roots, doesn’t mean we still pronounce it that way.
6. “The Valley” is in south Texas, not California
With as many Californians moving here as there are nowadays, one thing needs to be said, and I’ll be the first to do so. When you’re in Texas, “The Valley” is not the San Fernando Valley, Silicon Valley, or any other valley in California. It’s the Rio Grande Valley. When your’e back home, your’e welcome to refer to whatever you’d like as “the Valley”. But when you’re in Rome, do as the Romans. When you’re in Texas, do as the Texans, and stop talking about California.
7. Texas state pride
We may be the most hated state in the United States, but who cares? I understand why. Their states just don’t hold their own when it comes to competition. They don’t understand state pride, because they don’t have much to be prideful of. It doesn’t matter where you travel in this world. EVERYONE knows where Texas is. It’s practically it’s own country.