Wednesday, February 8
It seems that, lately, I've forgotten some of the endearing features of Texas. Today, I got reminded that this place really IS "Like a whole 'nother country!" And I also got reminded that I will never actually BE a Texan. Not even if I try REAL hard.
It started this morning. On the ride in to work, as usual, I saw nobody on a bike. However, between 6:30 and my arrival at work just a smidge after 7, I was waved to by a guy, in the dark who was walking his dog, another man who was simply standing on his porch, and by three other people including a school crossing guard. It is not simply coincidence that Texas posts highway signs that exhort motorists to "Drive Friendly." It is something that is part of the Texas culture. When I first arrived, I was taken aback by sales people coming out of stores as I walked by, simply to say "hello" and be nice. In a NICE way.
Well, it was good to get reminded of this southern hospitality that really is genuine. But on the way home, I got reminded that these friendly sorts are not and never will be MY people. You see, as I headed home, down the crest of the hill on Bedford Road, up the hill, in my lane, hugging the curb came a "salmon" (wrong-way person on a bike).
I knew this was not a teachable moment. Clearly, a guy on a bike riding slowly uphill, against traffic on a five-lane arterial with no shoulder, no parking, and an adjacent sidewalk was simply not thinking very clearly.
So, returning to my antisocial Pacific Northwest roots, I yelled at the guy. "You're going the wrong way!" I didn't even wave "howdy." Yes, I get grumpy. Friendly has its limits. No, I'm NOT from around here...