When I first arrived in Texas I was enthralled by it. I loved everything about it. The first year, in the early fall I was visiting friends. They lived in a small new age community. The entire neighborhood were having a cook out and hay ride. There must have been twenty of us on the hay trailer, and many more on foot. singing 'Deep in the Heart of Texas'. I felt that I had finally come home.
Now, twenty-seven years later, every time I turn my head I see beautiful rolling hills and the lake. I am sure most of you have see my conveyor belt of photos of the sun setting over the lake, or the fish we regularly catch either trolling slowly in a boat in the early morning, or fishing off the dock in the evening.
I have seen fox, racoons and squirrels right outside my window, and of course the herds of small white tail deer who are never far from our back patio, and sometimes in the front also. There are so many different, beautiful birds. It is idyllic.
How can a State filled with such beauty be also filled with such hatred, injustice and cruelty? The evil displayed every day by the State government is horrifying. The crooked practices being put in place to ensure that the current government remain in power is almost laughable. After all it appears that the only people who bother to vote are the very people who put them in the position of such power.
To be fair, it isn't just Texas. All of the United States is filled with breathtaking beauty and breathtaking hatred, ignorance and cruelty. Perhaps there is the same degree of hatred in other countries, but it is not obvious and not acted upon as it is here.
It isn't easy being a foreigner in the US. It is sometimes very difficult and frustrating being a foreigner in Texas, and no doubt most of the Southern States. I did live in California for two of the twenty-seven years and that was a lot easier, in part because there are more foreigners there so the locals (Americans) were much more familiar with different accents, different colloquialisms and, to a certain extent, different cultures. Basically everyone is a foreigner to some extent.
I have blogged about the various issues I have faced living in Texas, but they pale in comparison to what is happening now. As I said, twenty-seven years ago I loved it here, I felt I had come home. I still love the beauty we are surrounded by, and I have many good friends here - admittedly, only a few of them are native Texans, but some are. But I am quickly learning to hate living here. While statistics show that the State is evenly split politically, it would appear that the only people who bother to vote are those that support Abbot and his crew of misogynistic crooks. Perhaps the gerrymandering put in place by the far right is also to blame.
I will be curious to see what happens next November in the midterm elections. I have only a very faint hope that anything will change for the better. Meanwhile, here are some of the posts that I have written over the years. To demonstrate some of the less political difficulties faced.
The first post I wrote, in October 2013. Actually, I wrote it at least 14 years earlier, but didn't post it to my blog until then. I started my blog in October 2013. This was one of my first posts and it dealt purely with the different words used and the problem being that most of the English speaking world know the Americanism, but Americans are unware of the differences and do not realize that different is not necessary wrong. And while I knew the different words and pronunciations, it is not easy to break a habit of a lifetime. The Language Barrier
The second, in November 2013 deals not so much with language but food and is more about how people in the Southern States tend to have a very limited palate when it comes to what they like to eat. They feel very strongly about their preferences and are not very adventurous in this area. Not Just a Language Difference
Then in January 2014, it was accents that caused me to ruminate. Specifically I got tripped up a few times by my mother in law's strong Kentucky accent. Will I Ever Speak Kentucky
That was followed in March 2014 with some thought on the different sayings and ways of using the English language, between Ireland, England and the US. This one was sparked by an English teacher in France, whose understanding of English and the differences between the language across the various English speaking countries, was not very good. Definitely not as good as my eleven year old grandson's understanding, she was his English teacher unfortunately. Irish Sayings and the English Language
Then again in June 2014 - that one was to do with TV programs. When I was growing up very few families in Ireland owned a TV. We didn't get one until I was at least eleven. And there was only a very limited number of US Shows available to us, my lack of familiarity with US TV programs of old would always come into question. I Didn't Grow Up Here
It would appear that in October 2015 I became impatient with the Southerners lack of appreciate for other cultures, actually more that they seem to be unaware that other cultures exist. Apparently I observed someone expressing the assumption that Texas was no different to any other State in the Union. This I know to not be so as I have travelled to almost every State, despite not being an American - or maybe because I am not? Texas is very different to most States. Though recently, other states are rushing to be as misogynistic. Texas
Finally, in November 2019, looks like I totally lost patience and just wanted to go home - though truth be told, I started thinking about going home in January 2017, when a wave of hatred surged in the US - and it still exists today; in fact today it is even worse. America is fast becoming a country where anyone who is 'different' is unwelcome and unsafe. A Foreigner in the World
As I review these posts, in October 2021, I realize that none of that really matters. What matters now is that America has changed so drastically I feel that I am now in physical danger living here. And it is not just Texas, I don't think there is a State in the Union that is not being impacted by this virus of hatred.
I still feel like a foreigner after twenty-seven years, in fact more so. I wonder how much longer it will be possible for me to live happily in a country now so divided. A country filled with hatred and selfishness. It is not the country I 'escaped' to. Right now, I am kind of glad to feel different.
Yes, I know - and I agree, there are some wonderful, good, kind and generous people here, my husband for one. And he points out that at least half of the country is still made up of good, caring people. He is the only reason I have not left. But I watch those good people being threatened, battered and beaten, not to mention many forced into poverty and out into the streets, and those living in the streets given no assistance or even a kind thought; with no strong leadership to fight for their rights - or with what leadership we have busy fighting among themselves, they have no chance. Peoples right to vote stripped away; women's rights reduced to what it was a century ago, by those very people who are supposed to be protecting us. So much more yet to happen.
I echo what I heard Fiona Hill
say in an interview recently, something I have said many times in the last 5 years. This is not the America I came to. It is the America I would prefer not to live in any more.