Living in Lubbock, Texas

Trip Start Sep 17, 2006
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Trip End Dec 23, 2008


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Flag of United States  , Texas
Friday, October 10, 2008

For the next month I am going to be living in Lubbock, Texas, a typical medium sized American city, whose residents agree that there is absolutely nothing amazing about the place. This should give me a taste of ‘typical’ American life. The blog will report back on what it’s like living here, hopefully making an average American existence worth reading about.

First up some details on Lubbock. Lubbock is situated in west Texas, in a region known traditionally as Llano Estacado, meaning ‘plains’. The city’s population is 212,169, making it the 90th biggest city in the USA, and the 12th biggest in the state of Texas. In terms of population it is slightly smaller than Derby, Reading and Southampton. In terms of land area though it is so spread out that it’s comparable with Paris.

To the east about five hours away by car is Dallas, to the north about two hours away is Amarillo (yes the one from the song!), to the west is the state of New Mexico and the town of Roswell (yes famous because of the TV series and UFO incident!). The city is flat, with no hills visible in any direction. Lubbock is also a dry city, meaning no liquor stores inside the city limits. To buy alcohol outside of some bars or restaurants locals need to drive outside the city to ‘The Strip’, which is a series of liquor stores together just outside the city.

Lubbock’s nickname is the ‘Hub City’, as it is the centre of business, education and health for a large rural area known as the South Plains. The city has a university called ‘Texas Tech’, which has 28,000 students and a large campus in the centre of the city.

I am staying with Whitney and Ashton, who you may have read about earlier in the blog. They live in a single story ‘granny flat’ in the garden of Ashton’s mother’s house. Their house is in the middle of the city, in a dense, but at the same time spacious residential area. Each house in this area has a large garden, along with at least two dogs it seems! Their garden contains a swimming pool but oddly it lacks any water, which kind of reduces its usefulness.

Right now in Lubbock the temperature peaks at about 85 degrees late in the afternoon. Unlike in many other places here it seems the mornings are cool, with the temperature rising gradually until about 5pm. Nights are often warmer than 8am.

My friend Neil went home on October 4th, leaving me here with Whitney and Ashton. I had thought about moving to a long stay hotel in Lubbock as I didn’t want to overstay my welcome with the Atkins family. However in the end I decided to stay here, they assured me that it was okay, and all they wanted in return was a can of Diet Coke!

This week I’ve had a guest membership of the Texas Tech ‘rec centre’, which is home to their gymnasium and sports facilities. When travelling it is hard to keep fit, and so any opportunity is worth taking. Walking around reminded me of being at university, which now seems like a distant memory.

On Friday 3rd October I arranged to meet a friend called Stevan, who I’d met whilst in Sydney, Australia in June 2007. Back then he had told me that he was studying in a city called Lubbock, which at the time meant nothing to me. It was a complete coincidence that Whitney also happened to study here. This coincidence though allowed me to fulfil my promise of visiting him.

Earlier that day Whitney had smuggle me into Lubbock High School, where she had studied years earlier. I half expected to get arrested for trespassing and deported, but all went fine and nobody noticed. Lubbock High School was notable for the amount of motivational posters on the wall, all trying to encourage students to become good citizens.

On Saturday 4th October I went to what was promoted as a ‘Mexican Hoe-down’. This was a party for a young boy heading off to Iraq. His parents were Mexican and were friends with Whitney’s mum ‘Leelus’. The party took place in a back garden, which had been surrounded with small American flags. People here are extremely patriotic, which no doubt helps recruitment to the army! I felt somewhat like an outsider, in this pro-America celebration. I resisted the opportunity to either sing the Kazakhstani national anthem (as in Borat) or create an anti-Iraq war poster and march around. Both would probably have got me shot, both would definitely have gotten me evicted.
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Comments

myndi on

I hate Lubbock. The people are stupid. They don't know how to drive. Every time I get in the care, someone either nearly hits me, or I get hit. The restaurants are awful. The food sucks. All anyone cares about is Tech sports. As a Tech student, I can't even get on campus to the library during a game. Wake up Lubbock people! You are stupid.

myndi on

Another thing. There is a church on every corner. What's up with that? Lubbock people are stupid.

myndii on

I spelled car like care on purpose, because I figured Lubbock people wouldn't know the difference anyway, or should I write any way?

Erika on

Sounds like Myndi is having a rough day

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