Whenever I thought of Texas an image of a desert complete with cactuses and tumbleweeds always came to mind. I envisioned a state filled with cowboy boots, horse manure and spittoons, and where no color existed except the color brown.
Today certainly destroyed THAT perception. I arrived in Austin and at times I swear I that I must have hit a wormhole somewhere and wound up back home, because I could barely make a distinction between the suburbs of Austin and the suburbs of hometown Long Island.
And nobody was wearing cowboy hats either!
Odd that the culture shock I would experience here would be the shock in seeing just how little difference there was from New York. Even a local Target here was arranged in precisely the same way the Target down the street from where I lived was arranged. It was unnerving to say the least.
I did start to notice differences in people’s demeanor though, which was more friendlier and chattier than I’m used to. In a fit of coincidence I even ran across two people in different parts of town who both knew how to sign ASL, and immediately started signing away once they saw my hearing aids. That was certainly another departure from what I’m used to seeing back home. I had given so much focus into comparing the locale that I forgot all about the people, and while at first glance they appeared no different from a typical New Yawwker, there was indeed a subtle shift in human behavior.
Tomorrow I’ll start to immerse myself in the SXSW experience, but at the same time I hope to also use geocaching as a vehicle to learn more about this eclectic part of Texas.
Yippi kai yay!