What brought you to Texas?

You ever been asked this question before? I get it all the time. I’ve said a lot of different answers too. Not because I have that many different answers, more that I can’t really answer that kind of question very fast and unless you’ve got yourself some context you’d think I’m just telling you different stories. That’s one neat thing so far I’ve figured out in Texas – you never really meet the same Texan twice. It does feel like I’ve lived here almost a decade even though I’ve only been coming and staying here for just a year. Anyways, that’s a different story full of stories.

One thing that brought me to Texas was the heat. I don’t much care for the humid weather I was dealing with in the southeast United States, and I don’t much care for the winter weather on the north part of the USA. That really narrowed it down to me. I had spent about two years in Oklahoma finishing college, and the climate there was about the favorite to date. So that’s one thing that brought me to Texas. The dry, hot heat, unrelenting. Back in Oklahoma when I was living there I was driving a 1970 Lincoln Continental (hereafter: hoopty). Anyways me and my hoopty could easily be found on the side of the highway cooling down, both myself and the car. The car had a brand new radiator and even that beast couldn’t keep itself cool enough when it came to bumper to bumper traffic on the highway in the midwest. It also didn’t have A/C. And the drivers window wouldn’t work so great. It was a good time. It was a hot time, too, but it was also a good time. I have a 2017 GMC Sierra 6.2L Denali now and the roads are much .. cooler .. to drive on, anyways.

Another thing that brought me to Texas was that I was looking to live in a large city. San Antonio is a city made up of smaller cities, and certainly checks this box off. The city is massive, and still incredibly affordable and has a lot to offer for being a city of this size. I lived about 40 minutes north of Manhattan as well but I’m not really looking to go back to New York. Taxes there are a bit too much for my tastes and I just don’t really want to live near another New Yorker at this time. I also really like that San Antonio is as close to Mexico as it is, as at one point I was seriously considering a long stay in South America and this spot is at least closer. I’ve been told by some folks here that San Antonio’s a lot like Mexico without all the problems – so it’s like Mexico would be then under different circumstances. This was told to me by a Mexican that moved here and lives nearby the same gym I go to. He even told me it looked a lot like it. Sure, outside of all the signs written in spanish and beautiful arched facades, I really only can take his word on this. It certainly looks different from other places I’ve lived at and I’ve certainly lived in quite a few cities. It’s a good look, this.

Something else that brought me to Texas was that I noticed a lot of folks were moving out this way. At one point I was watching a lot of different people play video games on a site called Twitch, and it seemed like just north of here in Austin there is some kind of serious development with regards to a lot of folks moving from California to there, and also New York to there too. So, I get a lot of the benefits of living in Austin without having to deal with the people from Austin, here in San Antonio. For one, an apartment is still quite affordable, comparably. I did look there in Austin, but the prices were a good 25% higher on average going from my memory. Also I don’t like tolls so much.

Texas also seems to have its own version of everything, too. Theres Whataburger to replace McDonalds, and HEB to replace Walmart and Wegmans. Texas editions of vehicles .. you get my point. If you don’t, then that’s fine go ahead and skip the paragraph, or not. But, are you starting to see the picture yet?

I’m living in a city of cities, so I can take a vacation while I’m on vacation, in a state where I’ll never meet the same person twice, where there’s a state brand of everything! I came here for the variety! My whole life I’ve only known the East Coast, except for the two years in Tulsa I spent largely studying my ass off trying to get that 3.96 I graduated with, only for it all to have gone away quicker than I could have graduated. I actually left to go back to the East Coast less than an hour after they handed me my diploma, and I guess I just wasn’t done here is all.

I wanted to go back, actually I never really wanted to leave. Family had fallen on some tough financial times about half way through my education in Tulsa, so I spent the next decade helping out where I could – close by. They are very far away from that situation now, but that’s just what you do for folks who now live in their own home with a retirement that’s well planned for them and not having any outrageous struggles that they’d’ve been in before that.

So another thing that brought me to San Antonio instead of another city in Texas besides the lower rent was that I did have a friend here. Note the past tense, not all things work out for everyone. Really, the idea of moving to a Texas city was a lot in itself to me and the thought of being able to make new friends easier by knowing at least one person in the area before going there was initially something that I was thinking was a good thing. This is a poor mindset for moving to a place though! I didn’t really know that moving here – I’ve met more folks just by looking for a job.

Speaking of jobs, one thing that also brought me here was that there seems to be a large culture centered around wrestling. I’ve always had an inclination to the sport, only it just never really was the only thing I was doing. Mostly this was because I was in the 300 – 340 lb range for over the last ten years. I didn’t even watch the stuff. Even more interesting about being so close to the border here is that you get a lot of crossover between American wrestlers and Mexican luchas and the whole thing is pretty cool. I even managed to join a gym here for a few months, feeling the risk was reasonable after having lost over 80 lbs in 2022. Training was going pretty good. I learned a lot from a few good people there. Then I got kicked out of there, no specific reason given to me, just kicked out, no contact. Guess I’ll never know, and that’s fine. There are other places out there but at this time the place I was training at moved to the other place I was considering training at. For the time being, I just go to the regular gym and work for money. Some day I might go back and train but for now I’m just fine not having to deal with that. One thing I did learn – a fella could pick this stuff up in his fifties if he wanted to.

Another thing that brought me to Texas is the expanding manufacturing industry here, specifically automobile and semiconductor manufacturing. Usually I just tell folks that computer chips brought me here, for lots of reasons. Mostly it’s the facial expressions, the look on the woman’s face at Scarlet’s by the airport here was priceless when I told her “computer chips brought me here”, I guess people have a lot to think about this. I mean sure, about these days computer chips bring people about everywhere so it doesn’t seem at first glance a great reason to move to San Antonio. Apparently, there’s about ten or so manufacturing plants for Samsung about to spring up in ten years just north of Austin. Or maybe it was a ten billion dollar plant. I don’t know, ten something. Point is that the kind of work I’m used to – manufacturing – is expanding and growing in the area. Electric cars are also being manufactured here. Tesla is making the Cybertruck here in their Gigafactory in Texas. It’s a very beautiful and stunning plant, by the way, I highly recommend the plant tour they give during mass interviews if they’re still doing those.

One other thing that brought me to Texas what that I always heard they drive fast here. I can certainly confirm that not only do they drive fast – there are generally more lanes in the highways and thruways than there are stupid drivers nearby. That was one thing that caused me lots of issues in North Carolina. Folks drive around like the outside of their car is made of bubble wrap and they can’t pop a single bubble. It’s nuts and it drove me nuts. Every single turn was made at less than 5 miles per hour. Every single time you tried to turn into oncoming traffic the cars had spaced themselves so critically apart from each other that it was too close to jump in line without potentially cutting the person off, but just at the point where they were not too far apart to then potentially cut the next driver off – it was maddening. It was just some of the slowest, poor driving I’ve ever seen. Like they all drive around living in a dreamlike trance state. I’ve never been one to be subject to road rage, instead choosing to quietly dwell on the poor driving skills of the folks around me in that state. Not saying I’m much better but if you haven’t experienced North Carolina driving I’d recommend it as much as i’d recommend a rusty saw removing your head from your neck. Highway driving was awful too, the entire state merged a mile or two back rather than zipper merging, and when they weren’t doing that they were consistently 15 mph below the speed limit on the highway in predominantly the left lane and there certainly were not enough lanes in the roads there. They also had a strange inclination to go the exact speed limit at all times for no apparent reason. Then they would get mad when they got passed on state highways and speed up and tailgate the fuck out of you after the passing zone. I just don’t get it! I’ve driven in a looooot of states and North Carolina is worse than Massachussetts. I think Mass. is a little more dangerous driving sure, what with folks dead-stopping to let someone into the road in a 45 mph zone, but damn if North Carolina didn’t have them beat everywhere else. So anyways, it’s just not like that here in San Antonio. Sure there’s normal congestion traffic occasionally, and the paint really doesn’t stay on the roads, but the flow of trafic is pretty good and comfortable here.

Sure I guess I could also say things like “the people are nice”, but I never liked hearing this myself. Let me rephrase that – it’s a good thing to hear! But, in general I think it’s a poor way to reinforce ones decision when used in conversation. We live in a high trust society, about every single person you’re going to meet is going to come off as nice, in general. Also as a general rule, if you’re looking for nice people, you’re probably going to find nice people. There’s a pretty good tendency to find what you’re looking for – wherever you happen to be! Anyways, that’s a bit of a separate story too. So, another good reason to pick the middle of Texas to live in is that it’s really only 2-4 hours to get anywhere you want to go in this state. The gulf is 2 hours away, Houston is 4 hours away, Mexico is 2 hours away, Austin is 45 minutes away. While 4 hours is kind of stretching it for a day trip – the point is that it’s a good location to make unplanned day trips and while most things are a 2 hour away flight, it’s substantially easier to make a 2-4 hour unplanned drive than it is to make any flight any time here in the US.

Another reason toward the timing to get over to Texas was that after over two years of insanity and restrictions I was just done. Done dealing with pharmaceuticals, done working, done doing just about anything. The main reason I left the first place I was working at was because they mandated their workers to be injected with what had been re-classified that year as a vaccine, despite it very much being a therapeutic level weak genetic modification. Had I stayed, and a lot of people did, I would have either gotten fired or alternatively I would have been roped into fucking absolute insanity. Not that I have a problem with the drug delivery system itself, but I’d rather see it get put to use in humans for useful things other than what it was introduced for. Like weight loss. Or Alzheimers prevention. Even just calling it what it actually is would be reasonable to me. Tons of other shit besides what it was. So, I let them know that as soon as they remove that requirement from their job postings then I might consider working there again. In the intervening two years, the requirement’s been removed, despite being told at the time it never would be. Anyways, I then went to a place that only required people be tested. But that didn’t necessarily fix anything. Restrictions were still in place and I was just hopping into someone else’s insanity. So it was great to me when I first started visiting here and everywhere was like downtown Raleigh, and nobody seemed to be talking openly about the bullshit that drove me the hell out of there.

This isn’t even a complete list, so far. It’s just the details of what I remembered in an off day here in Texas. A couple of other reasons I can’t even remember right now are something for business, and something for land, and something for the politics, but I don’t even remember those details right now. There were a shit ton of things that weren’t getting sorted through by sitting at a desk in North Carolina, I sure figured that out. I’ve got a good three years of logs going back to about September 2020 where I was writing something about moving to Texas though, so I was definitely planning this for a while. Probably even longer, I started logging things around early 2019 or late 2018 but I don’t feel like digging those archives out and checking out what I was planning there. Such is how things go though!

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