Howdy y’all

Yes, Texans really do say this, but it sounds quite melodious and somehow genuine when they say it, mainly because they’re pretty nice people. Until they get behind the wheel of a car, then all bets are off. I’m very glad I don’t have to commute around Houston and San Antonio for two reasons;

  1. With all the high speed lane cutting that goes on, it’s like a cross between NASCAR and Wacky races
  2. The minimalist road signage requires split second timing and the luck of being in the right lane for your turnoff.

Which at speeds over sixty to seventy plus in high density traffic can make for some quite lively driving, let me tell you. I’m no novice driver, having survived the rush hour M25 many times without a scratch, but there were quite a few brown trouser moments and missed turns requiring much back tracking, many U-turns (Which the city fathers of both San Antonio and Houston make ample provision for), and several heated arguments between driver and navigator about whose fault it was we missed our exit.

At first some of the antics of my fellow motorists left my chief circulatory organ wedged firmly between my teeth until I started picking up the various clues from other drivers and failing to let them faze me. In the end I just left two and a half car lengths between my front end and the vehicle in fronts arse and let everyone else do what the hell they pleased. With or without signalling. I could have flashed my lights and sounded my horn, but would it have made any difference? No. So we’ve learned to just give the crazy ones the road and keep our distance from everyone else. Now give me a week and I’d be carving up and swerving across three lanes just like the rest of them.

Yesterday’s little hiatus and wander round San Antonio’s river walk gave us time to catch our breath and chill out a bit after the previous days series of panic attacks on the cities maze of overpasses, underpasses and quantum shifting side roads that tend to dump the unwary precisely one block from their destination, being taken in the wrong direction by a Byzantine one way system. Fortunately, due in part to one piece of inspired guesswork on my part (“Don’t you mean jammy?” Says Mrs S), we actually found our way to where we needed to be. On this driver’s day off we’d elected to take the Transit (Bus) downtown so we could have a drink or two after visiting the famous Alamo.

The Alamo itself is an interesting place, despite a relative paucity of exhibits. All there was on display were a number of flags, a lot of display boards, a couple of antique rifles, various documents, a model of the besieged mission complex, a few scraps of fabric and leather and many notices bearing imprecations not to touch the walls. What really impressed me was the sense of tranquillity we encountered in the well-tended mission gardens. It was so peaceful that the heavy grumbling noise from a running truck engine from behind one wall took several minutes to register on our senses. A feeling I’ve only experienced in the inner sanctum of various churches and temples. That air of inner stillness which is so hard to find, except in such places of reverence and awe.

En route to Houston today we had an interesting stop at a rural service station just outside San Antonio; firstly the whole anti-smoking thing seems to have had a limited effect down here. You don’t have to select your inhalant of choice by guesswork, there are whole walls full of cigarettes, cigarillo’s and eCigs on show for everyone to see, and in the case of cigars, in a special humidor room (I estimated ten feet by ten feet) to keep the tobacco in perfect smoking condition. I was almost overcome by a sense of nostalgia. A member of the anti-smoking righteous would probably have a terminal coughing fit. Secondly there was the ammunition. Under glass of course. $6.99 for 20 rounds of NATO 5.56 or .223, hunting and full jacketed. Spare magazines and enough hunting paraphernalia to give a virulent vegan activist several heart attacks before even reaching the counter.

Anyway, we’re all safe and sound, trying to find old movies on the hotel TV in amongst dozens of TV channels dedicated to talking head political op-eds denouncing this Trump fellow as one of the many “ist’s”. They call themselves ‘news’, but that’s so far from what these broadcasts actually are. Which is regurgitated dramatised drek for the gullible. Mrs S, genius with the remote she is, has located an old James Bond classic ‘Dr No’. Which we’re currently enjoying, even though she still forbids me to do my Sean Connery impersonation. Not sure what we’re doing tomorrow, so watch this space.

Bye for now.

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4 thoughts on “Howdy y’all”

      1. Totally dryshod. There’s been some localised dampness, but the storms have passed and the sun is shining here in New Orleans, and latterly, Houston. The news media, as usual, have over dramatised the whole affair.

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  1. Really interesting.

    I learned how to cross six lanes of raving nutters in Singapore many years go. But these days I can’t even handle two lanes in Pontivy, although there aren’t many of those. None, in fact, now I come to think of it.
    But when you do get here, NEVER assume you have right of way, no matter how irrefutable it looks.
    Vous n’avez pas priorité is all very well, but they never tell you when you do have, so it’s always your fault. Especially if your French is a bit dodgy.

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