I'm much less practical than I was in high school (ie, 8 years ago). I couldn't understand why anyone wouldn't go straight to college, I had full intentions of getting my career on path, and I set any interest in a romantic relationship aside until my education was over. Nowadays, in my dotage, I'm all for taking a gap year, I like calling my career "professional lazybones", and I got married at 21. Yup, I've learned a thing or two about what really matters in life over the years, and that's probably what made dropping everything in Dallas and setting up life in a town smaller than my high school such a damn fine idea.
I only had one "Oh no, what the hell have I done?" moment when we first got into the apartment and nothing was quite as we remembered. As things were set up, however, I began to feel much better. A week-and-a-half later, I'm quite comfortable in our pint-sized apartment. Once we get a mattress on our guest bed/makeshift couch, it'll be just about perfect.
So what have we learned thus far?
1. This place is happenin'. There was supposed to be a concert tonight from a Pulitzer Prize nominee composer, but he's somehow injured himself in such a way that he cannot play his bass. Try not to think too hard about that. Jazz festival this weekend, Marfa Lights Festival next weekend (which we will be fleeing from), Andy Warhol paintings in galleries downtown--not too shabby.
2. There is no "international section" in the grocery store. When the population is majority Hispanic, there's no need to have a special aisle with masa, special canned produce, and tortillas. Yes, this isn't White Land anymore--nopales and green beans sit naturally together on the shelf. And they have bins of pinto beans in the produce section; jicama, which I probably couldn't even have found at specialty stores in Carrollton; and 30 lbs bags of Hatch green chiles for $16. Heaven.
3. People are scary friendly. I'm not used to this. Everyone waves whether they know you or not. I live two houses down from the mayor. You can know someone's life story within 5 minutes of meeting them. I've gone from Dallas apathetic to small town ultra-friendly. That will take some adjusting.
Anyhoo, when Mom was here helping us move in we took a day off and drove the River Road down by the border. Pictures are up at Backcountry Peripatetic.