I thought it was about time to write another “differences” post seeing as my list of observations is getting long again. So here we go, differences between Texas and Pennsylvania, part 3:
The local wildlife:
We have lizards, cockroaches and cicadas here. The first time a lizard darted out in front of my path I freaked out. Now I think they are cute. They are tiny, maybe a few inches long. They vary from brown to green. The cicadas are SO LOUD. The first time I heard them making an awful rackett I had no clue it was a bug. My first thought was that the noise was some kind of weird sounding tool, like a buzz saw. They have quieted down now that it is fall though. Our first week here, we saw a very large cockroach walking on the sidewalk. They really are ugly bugs! We expected cockroaches in the apartment based on reviews, and we did have a few tiny ones in the first few weeks, but again, we probably aren’t seeing them now that it is “cooling down.” Which, in Texas speak, means highs in the mid 80s!
One morning while watching the news and checking Twitter, I realized how odd it is to get the traffic reports every day! Our idea of a traffic jam in Wellsboro was getting stuck behind a tractor or a gas industry truck. In Houston, you really need to pay attention though before you get ready to go somewhere. Some days it could take you 20 min to get to work, but an accident could easily double or triple that! And, even though it really is impossible if you have a typical 9-5 job, you have to try to avoid rush hour traffic like the plague. No such thing as rush hour traffic in Wellsboro.
Southern chain stores:
When we were still in Pennsylvania, I wondered what chain stores we would see in Texas. In Pennsylvania, grocery stores like TOPS and Weis were the norm. Here in Texas, it is Kroger, Fiesta Mart and HEB. Tioga County was so small that we just had national food chains, such as Taco Bell, KFC and Wendys. But here, in additional to the nation wide ones, there are chains I had never even heard of like Fuddruckers and Whataburger. (Whataburger’s rootbeer milkshakes are so good!) In the north, Dunkin Donuts reigns supreme. Down here, it is Shipley’s Donuts. Sonic is also big here. I had heard of Sonic before, but I had never been to one before now. I still think that the drive-in concept is weird, but hey, whatever works!
It is one thing to remember the one hour time difference when calling and texting friends and family back home, but it is entirely different when all of your fall shows come back on. I watch Survivor, and for the last 15 years or so, it has been engraved in my brain that it comes on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. So the Wednesday that it premiered, I almost missed the show! It was about 6:55 p.m. when I had a light bulb go off in my head and I remembered TIME DIFFERENCE! Then a few days later, I did the exact same thing with another show. Whoops. I do like that the shows are on earlier though. This is awesome for football games. I can now make it to the end of a Monday night football game instead of going to bed at 10 p.m. during half time.
Who would have thought something as simple as cold water would be a luxury? Here our cold water is cool at best, and sometimes just downright warm. We now get into the habit of using our britta filter as a pitcher to keep some drinking water cold at all times. We never used to use ice cubes, and now we always make sure the tray is full. Hot water is, of course, not a problem. The hot water is scalding, and it gets hot quickly. We have to remember to turn it down before we burn ourselves.