The crazy place that is Texas...
Trip Start Nov 17, 2006
56Trip End May 2007
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I was met there by Rachel, Jen, and Jarrad (who I know from when Rachel studied in London at the beginning of this year). Texas really is quite unbelievably American! Going into the car park at the airport, all you can see is Chevy pick-up trucks as far as the eye can see! Probably three times the size of the average London car... Although you do feel quite powerful and invincible sitting in such a huge car, you're really not since everybody else is also driving one. And everybody wears cowboy hats and speaks like George Bush (which makes it hard to take them seriously!). It really is like a country within a country and is incredibly conservative. No alcohol can be bought on Sundays, and since Lubbock is a "Dry City", you have to leave the city limits to buy alcohol off the shelf... Getting Texans to understand me is also quite difficult. Asking for water at a restaurant normally takes three or four repeats before they get what i'm asking...
The stadium was pretty much full, with thousands and thousands of students and supporters all screaming and doing random dancing type cheers. Each team has a marching band of probably of one or two hundred instruments, playing pretty much constantly during the 3 hour game, and when anyone scores. Then there are the cheerleaders, the one thing that English football is lacking in, making for good entertainment when the football gets boring... At half time the band and cheerleaders do a whole procession and somehow there was even a Air Force flyover of a B-52 bomber since the pilots were alumni from Texas Tech. All this for a university football game...
The evenings were spent in Mexican and Barbecue restaurants with Rachel and Jarrad's friends. All the restaurants were not only sooo American, but also so Texan... I'm in meat overload mode from steaks, chicken, buffalo wings, Jalapeno sausages, fajitas, and Dennys. It doesn't really matter what type of restaurant you go to, it being American, Italian, Greek, or anything else, you can't escape from how American they are! In terms of the surroundings and the food.
On Saturday night we went to one of Lubbock's two nightclubs. Called Wild West, it is of course not your typical night club as they play virtually only country music! And of course me being the nice English boy, was generally picked on by the girls wanting me to country dance with them. So we spent the evening two-stepping, waltzing (or attempting to do so), and all sorts of pretty "out-there" dancing that they do in the deep South of the US. Beer and whisky was cheap at $1 a go (although it wasn't exactly the nicest thing to drink). And of course, finishing the night off at 24 hour fast food joint, called Whataburger (very original!).
On Monday we went to Jarrad's parents cotton farm. This was in the middle of nowhere, about 20 miles outside of Lubbock. They have about 200 acres of land, and it was harvest season so there were huge cotton strippers ploughing the fields. I also got to drive a huge tractor round a cotton field which was something I never really expected to do in my life! I think I handled this heavy machinery pretty well though, and without breaking it, running anything over, or killing myself.