Week 3 of Amazon and Texas tidbits

You know how you’re always seeing disclaimers on articles saying something like “now, I’m not a doctor, so you shouldn’t follow my advice without seeking expert opinion”?  Well, today, you are in luck, because this week’s topic is my observations of Texas culture, which I am totally qualified to espouse, thanks to a BA in Sociology. Read on, and know that everything you see will be totally and completely accurate.  🙂

Here’s the conundrum that I just can’t wrap my head around: the juxtaposition between very very genteel behavior, and extremely boorish behavior.  For the most part, people here are super polite and friendly.  The roads are the most obvious place to see the difference from crazy places like California.

We’ve barely heard any honking, and people drive pretty fast, but don’t harass you with their vehicles like other states.  In California, no one, and I mean no one will let you into their lane as you enter the freeway.  If you try to get ahead of them, they will speed up every time and prevent you from getting on.  You have to slam on your brakes and wait for an opening, because no one will yield to you.  We almost caused some accidents when we would slow down on the freeway to allow someone to merge on with us.  They would slow down every time we did, not believing that we were allowing them in.  We learned to just keep driving, and never slow down for incoming traffic.  Texas on the other hand, is the kind of place where the freeway always yields to the incoming traffic.  If someone slows down for you, it always means that they intend for you to go ahead of them.

The polite attitude is just everywhere.  We get “yes, sir” and “yes, ma’am” everywhere we go, people hold doors open for you, and even apologize for being in your way when you ask to move around them, say at the grocery store.

And here’s the boorish part that confounds me.  In all my life, I don’t recall ever seeing someone purposely throw trash out their car window, and I’ve witnessed it twice in the last 2 weeks.  We watched a car toss a fast food bag out the window in front of us on the highway, where is exploded into shrapnel that pelted our car.  The other time, as we were pulling in the driveway to our RV park, a car pulled in just ahead of us and stopped on the side of the drive.  The passenger opened her door, threw out a giant paper bag into the grass, and then the car peeled away.  I just don’t understand how this state can be so polite in some ways, and so unbelievably rude in others.

……………….

We had our second 55-hour week working at Amazon, and definitely felt more tired at the end of it than we had after the first one.  I still have a love/hate relationship with the little Kiva robots that bring the shelves to us.  First thing the other morning, just after JJ and logged into adjacent workstations, two robots ran their shelves smack into one another, bringing the whole area to a standstill under a technician could fix them.  While it was extremely entertaining, it’s kind of hard to meet your quota numbers when the underlings are misbehaving!

We are so pleased that we moved to an RV park outside of Denton, TX, a perfectly sized college town; just big enough to have yummy restaurants and all the shopping you need, without the big city traffic headaches.  The center of town is a delightful slice of Americana, a thriving square that’s completely surrounded by local businesses.  There were restaurants and coffeehouses, candy stores and used bookeries, and every single one was bustling with customers.

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We were there to visit Beth Marie’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream, an adorable shop that makes all 50 daily flavors with a 1927 ice cream machine, producing delicious 14% butterfat creations.  My first love will always be Graeter’s of Ohio, but I think this is the second best so far.

This particular sundae was called the Lover’s Sundae, intended for sharing between 2 people, I guess. Not in our case!

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The flavor board:

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***As usual with WordPress, about every 6 months, there is an update that completely confounds me. This time, I had to spend forever figuring out how to upload my pictures to the blog. Please let me know if anything looks strange!

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