There are a lot of weird things about living in Texas, but we’ll just start with these five:
1.) Kolaches – A kolache (pronounced ko-la-chee) is a breakfast staple in Texas. Prior to moving to Houston, I had never heard of the delicacy, much to the chagrin of my coworkers, but it apparently originated in Czechoslovakia. How it made it’s way to Texas, I have no idea. A traditional kolache is kind of like a turnover: a flaky pastry folded over a very sweet fruit filling. The more common kolache here in Texas reminds me more of pigs in a blanket: a sausage with some cheese (and maybe jalapenos) baked into a croissant-like bun. I’m pretty sure what Texans call kolaches are nothing like what the Czechs originally created, but whatever, they’re good. You can find kolaches at gas stations, donut shops*, and grocery stores. Don’t eat them cold – microwave them if they aren’t already warm – but a “must try” Texas food.
2.) Feeder Roads – Feeder roads are one way roads that run parallel to the expressway, usually for the entire length of the expressway. Google maps has a hard time understanding them. Especially since many business will have their address as “Sam Houston Parkway” (which is the name of the expressway), when in actuality, it is located off the feeder road. This usually leads to getting off your exit too late to turn into the business and having to loop back to find your destination. According to Wikipedia, these are common in Detroit, but apparently I have not driven around enough in Detroit, because these seem like nothing I’ve seen in Michigan. On a related topic, I thought “Frontage Road” was just a super long feeder road here in Houston, but come to find out, a “frontage road” is another name for a feeder road, so there are a lot of different ones…
3.) Rain – My first day in Houston, while apartment hunting with my mom, I experienced the rain in Houston. Occasionally it will just sprinkle, but more often than not, it is a torrential downpour. Roads flood a lot, visibility is close to zero, and you’re probably better off just pulling over when this sort of storm hits. If the storms weren’t enough, people in Houston think that two drops of water from the sky means that you should probably slow to about 45 mph on a 65 mph road, causing massive traffic jams. (I can’t imagine these people trying to driving in snow.) Also, weirdly enough, it rains a lot when it’s sunny here. Haven’t figured that one out yet.
4.) They Think Taco Bell is Local – Inevitably, I end up talking with Texans about the fast food options in Houston versus Michigan. No, we don’t have Jack in the Box or Chick fil-A. Yes, we have Taco Bell. What?! “I thought Taco Bell was just a Texas thing”. I’ve heard that at least four times.
5.) Don’t say “pop” – I realize that different parts of the country have different terms for carbonated beverages. I get that here, most things are “Coke”, and occasionally “soda”. Is it too much to ask that you understand me when I use the term “pop”? I had an interesting phone conversation with a lovely woman from Jason’s Deli in which I was calling to inform her that our beverages had not made it with the rest of our catering order:
Me: “The pop was left off our order. The guy said he was going to come back with it, but he never did.”
Me: (repeats above)
Her: “What was left off your order?”
Me: “The pop.”
Her: “The what?”
Me: “The pop! Soda pop? Coke? All of the beverages besides the water.”
Her: “Oooooooooooooooohhhh! Pop! Oh honey, we don’t call it that here.”
Have you been to Texas? What weird things have you found here?
*Side Note: There are a weird amount of donut shops in Houston. I’m not complaining, in fact, I think Michigan needs to take note.