I have now lived in Texas almost a full month. Already, I can tell that there is a lot of difference between Utah and Texas. I haven’t had a culture shock, but I can definitely tell that I am obviously in a different place than I have been the past almost 8 years of my life. Some of these differences Justin and I are excited about, some were aren’t.
I-15 is the only major interstate in Utah. There are so many interstates here in the Dallas/Fort Worth area…they cross over each other and more are being built! It’s insane! I get confused and lost sometimes! And besides the interstates, there are Texas high ways, and state roads…all of which have abbreviations and numbers! And, it’s always so congested! Seriously! You think I-15 is terrible during rush hour, try driving here in the DFW area at any point in the day!
In Utah, we like to shop. As soon as a store (or mall) opens, we are there. So, at 9am or 10 am, when the major stores start to open, I am there. But, here, the parking lots are empty and employees are surprised to see a customer fifteen minutes after opening! There really aren’t shoppers out and about until lunch time. I guess there is Mormon Standard Time (10-20 minutes late) and then there is Texan Standard Time!
Along that same strain, there is hardly anyone at the mall right when it opens. Whereas, in Utah, stay-at-home moms use the mall as socializing and playgroup times. Whenever I would take Rhys to the mall in Utah, there would be a lot of groups of moms walking around with their infants in their strollers, chatting, or in the play area, letting their kids run around. Here, a lot of people actually use the malls as a free gym–there are a ton of people in workout clothing, speed walking through the mall over and over again!
Sunday vs Saturday Night
In Utah, because of the Mormon culture, Saturday night is the night to go out to eat and get all the grocery shopping done. Seriously, if you go to a grocery store after 4pm on Saturday, it is super busy! However, here in Texas, where the culture isn’t predominately Mormon, that typically happens on Sunday. It is the last weekend day, so families are out together and getting last-minute grocery shopping done before the work week begins again.
Now, again, I’ve only been here a month. I’ve met a few parents at the library and the mall. So, it’s a very small sample size. Don’t take my observation to be considered as the norm of Texas. But, what I’ve seen, in Utah, parents are very hands-on, almost helicopter parents when it comes to children playing on playgrounds and around public areas. Here in Texas, parents are more hands-off–they will typically sit on the benches. And, to that same extent, if their child misbehaves, the parent will yell out the correction from the bench. I seem to be the only parent to get up from my seat, take Rhys close at hand, and softly and quietly correct his behavior. Again, this is just what I’ve observed the past few weeks, and not every parent acted this way.
It is soooooooooo hot and humid! Yuck! It’s been above 100* every day, the nights never dip under 85* and it’s always been above 50% humidity! I sweat like a pregnant Mormon pig! I never used to complain about having to wear my g’s, but now I do!
There are so many different barbecue or fried chicken shops! Seriously! On just about every corner is a small restaurant that boasts either fried chicken or barbecue! I wonder how they all do because they all compete against each other. But, we are super excited for this difference–Justin has a goal to try all the different barbecue restaurants!
Taco Time vs Bueno Taco
Every Utahn is familiar with Taco Time–the Taco Bell knock off that tries to be a little more classy. It is always on commercials for local news stations. Well, Bueno Taco is basically the exact same thing here. Even the menus are pretty similar to each other!
In Utah, many commercials try to reach the Mormon culture–banks, insurance companies, local businesses. Well, here in Texas, commercials appeal to the Texan pride: “everything is bigger in Texas”, “in Texas we do it better,” even national chains will have a special “Texan” product!
I have to admit: I really miss seeing the Oquirrh and the Wasatch Mountains outside my window every day and being able to navigate myself with the mountains as a land mark. They are so beautiful; I miss them in my horizon. Here in Texas, there are hills, but no Rocky Mountains. However, you can see for miles and miles on the flat land.
There aren’t as many Mormons here, obviously. But, there are so many Christians here. There are still churches on almost every block, just not Mormon chapels. And, there are a billion cars with Christian bumper stickers or people walking around with tattoos of the cross. There are so many Christian music stations on the radio–I love it!
Next week, I’ll do a post about the similarities I’ve seen so far between Utah and Texas.
Any other Utah transplants to Texas? What other differences have you noticed?