Sunday, May 04, 2008

Big-Ass Texas

Houston, like Texas, is quite large. It goes on and on and all around. And, as befitting an aging oil-town, it is full of cars. I don't see very many taxis or busses, and when you are staying out in Cloverleaf, a burb of Houston, that can be a problem.

"Texans haven't quite discovered green yet," says my friend Nic in her clipped British-California accent.

"Everything here is big-ass," says my friend Mike, Nic's boyfriend, in his lazy drawling all-California accent. "Nothing is just big. It's always big-ass. Big-ass beer, big-ass cars. Big-ass people."

This led to a discussion about how sometimes different parts of the world identify with different body parts. In Buenos Aires I was mildly shocked to hear the inhabitants refer to their lovely city as "the a-hole of South America" because of its location on the southern tip of the continent. We wondered if the usage of the A word around here as a suffix to just about anything indicated that something similar was at play here in Houston, which is also a pretty southernly city in the U.S.

"What about Miami?' asked Mike.

"Miami is more like a big toe," I said.

Actually, I have been pleasantly surprised by Houston, forced to break out of my California Bay Area elitist ways to recognize that this is an exciting, dynamic, artistic, multi-cultural city, mixing Latino, Louisiana Cajun, African, African American, Anglo, liberal and conservative and and a whole lot of other spicy stuff into a pot full of drawling yes ma'am yeah baybee Texas twang.

Big-ass Texas twang.

P.S. You can get an apartment here for less than the price of a room in San Francisco.

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