December 22, 2010

Texas Culture Shock

If there is one thing that all hockey wives and girlfriends know all too well, it is boredom. Doesn't matter where your husband or boyfriend plays, there is a time in the season (or whole seasons at times) where boredom overcomes your whole being and you're sucked into its abyss head over heels. There is only one thing that makes a hockey year feel longer than complete and utter boredom; a losing season. Last year, we were oh-so-fortunate to have both.
Boredom in Germany can be sooo frustrating!

BUT this year, I was determined to fill my time. I found a great job teaching English at a local language school and I am loving every minute of it. Between the job, the winning season, this blog, and everything else that fills the day, I am almost feeling, dare I say it, busy!

I really do feel lucky to have started teaching English this year. Not only does this job have an excellent corporate structure, they give you the tools to be your own boss. Or wait, that is another company (anyone?!?). But seriously, everyday is fun and motivating; what more could you ask for in a part time job? I am teaching such a great group of adults who are going above and beyond to master the tricky English language. I am so grateful to my own German teacher, whom without her help I really couldn't be doing everything I am doing here in Germany. So, I can only hope that my students are learning at least half as much as I learned from her.

I have one lady in particular that I just started tutoring. She requested an American English language instructor because she is moving to America in July. I was lucky enough to get the class, seeing as I am the only American at the company. And wouldn't ya know it, she is moving to Texas! I think I am about 100 times more excited than she is about her moving to there. But hey, like I keep saying, if it isn't home, it just won't feel like home.

No matter how much I think the Lone Star State is the bees knees, it isn't where she comes from. And as much as I believe the people of Texas will welcome her with open arms, I can only imagine that she is in for a bit of a culture shock. Every lesson I try to add helpful tidbits about how Texas will be different than Germany.

Here are a few "Moving to Texas" tips I have come up with so far. I just feel like there are so many! And if you have any good ones, suggestions are more than welcomed!
Yep, pretty much sums up my Texas

1. If you order 'tea' at a restaurant, don't expect to get a nice hot, steaming cup of herbal tea. You are going to be brought an oversized mug, jammed full of ice and  freshly brewed iced tea. And if the restaurant really knows what they are doing, the tea will be so sweet that sugar crystals will float undissolved at the bottom of the cup. And on another note, if you want to keep your dignity, stay away from Texas Tea. That stuff will take you to another level!

2. Sundays in Germany are for rest and family time. No seriously, the whole country turns into a ghost town. Sundays in Texas are all about getting all that shit done that you were too lazy to have finished the rest of the week. I always get all my best errands done on the 7th day.

3. Every kind of soft drink is referred to as 'Coke'. When you are asked what kind of coke you want, they aren't asking if you want diet or regular, they want to know what kind of soda you would like. This one was hard to explain, a little confusing. Maybe that had something to do with the fact that I totally went overboard in explaining my love of a 'coke' that she had never heard of: Dr Pepper.

4. Bring a jacket with you everywhere. Not because the weather might turn chilly. No, no freakin' way of that happening outside of January and Feburary. But because everywhere has the A.C. cranked up as high as it will go. While you could fry an egg outside, your nips will be cutting glass inside.

5. Why is Texas, or America for that matter, the land of the plenty?? Two words: Free Refills

6. Contrary to popular belief, cowboy hats and chaps are not a required everyday outfit. But, we do tend to wear flip flops all year long.

7. Be careful when ordering a Pepperoni Pizza in Texas (or the US). In Germany, a Pepperoni Pizza is not topped with pepperoni or salami, but rather with spicy peppers. Its weird!

8. I know Target is not native to Texas, but I already told her how great it was. And if there is an H-E-B in her town, she better be doing her grocery shopping there.

9. I haven't even touched on crawfish, don't want to scare her too badly. But I might have to bring in a detailed outline of how to properly open and eat a crawdad, and also the importance of having 500 napkins at your disposal. (Ok Louisiana, I know this one was originally yours, but thanks for letting us Texans share in this delicious late spring treat!)

10. McDonald's, Burger King, or any other fast food joint don't even hold to the deliciousness of Whataburger (IMHO). It's just not a true Texas burger if it's not loaded with plain, old yellow mustard and diced onions.

11. German 'spicy' and Texas 'spicy' are two totally different worlds. When in doubt, order the mild.

Bonus: (I shouldn't even get into this one with anyone moving to Texas from a foreign country. But it is so true, I couldn't not share it) 
12. Most people choose a brand of Mexican salsa with the same care that another might use to select a bottle of fine wine. It is so true, I can't tell you the endless amounts of time I have spent in the salsa aisle trying to choose one independent brand over another. You just feel like such a failure when you get it wrong! lol
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9 comments:

  1. Bordem ... I know it all too well!

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  2. OH MY GOD. I have been living in Munich for the last six months after spending pretty much all of my life living in California and Montana. And your list of things (even though they are for Texas) are EXACTLY what I would have written down.

    I. Miss. Free. Refills.

    I am now an addict to your blog.

    DANKE.

    http://diaryofanamericanaupair.blogspot.com

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  3. @ Lovely Girl - you are too funny! We take all those nice things for granted at home, but man, do I miss them here. Hope you are having a good time in Munich, and I can't wait to have a better look at yours. Oh, and BITTE SEHR, haha.

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  4. I am soo glad I stumbled across your blog on facebook! You have literally kept me laughing on this "cold Texas Friday!"

    It is great to read about your adventures over in Germany and next time you come into town we should really make an effort to meet up.

    I too have a lil blog going...feel free to take a gander. I will first say I am not near as funny as you are when it comes to writing!
    http://kimberlywood33.wordpress.com/

    ~Kim

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  5. Kim! I am so glad you shared your blog with me too. Can't wait to have a better look at it. And thanks for your sweet comments, you're too nice :)

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  6. I'm reading through your blog...I have SO sat in the grocery aisle STARING at salsas...in my flipflops in December.

    Don't forget: Sonic. Land of the cheese tatertots!

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  7. Nothing bets Whataburger. Salsa you just have to compare them. Tilt the jar to see how thick or thin they are. Do you actually see the ingredients or are they processed so fine who knows what could be in there. Plus when you go out and find a place with really good homemade salsa. Do you order some to go, and go out of your way to go by and buy it...or is it just me?

    Spicy in Texas is a whole nother thing. I had a German friend from Wisconsin try my dad's shrimp creole recipe. I think she downed 2 glasses of water before she could breath again. I just knew he had gone over board on the cayenne again...no, it was on the mild side for us.
    You might want to explain yall' to her too.

    Pamela Jo
    http://theresjustlifeyaliveit.blogspot.com

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  8. Hi! Just discovered your blog. I just had to share this post on facebook. So true. There are so many things I miss from Texas, but one that wasn't mentioned that I miss in particular is washing the car in our big "backyard" listening to my favorite music, such a relaxing chore there. Here in Germany it is law to go to a car wash!
    cheers
    Siggie

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  9. Ah! The difference between pepperoni and peperoni. I guess the blame falls on Americans, though.

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Whoomp, there it is!