the trouble with texas


I get lost a lot here.

This is in part because I have a problematic sense of direction. But also, it’s Texas. Or, more specifically, Texans.

When Texans give directions, they use landmarks. I am not sure why. Maybe it dates back to pioneer days. Texas is pretty big and in pioneer days street signs had to be sparse. I have lived in the country. I get that. Places I have lived have had directions like “go three miles and when you see the rock that looks like a goat, turn left.” But this is Austin. It is a city. Pioneer days are done and gone. And there are STREET SIGNS! Because, hello, streets in cities have NAMES and STREET SIGNS!

This makes no difference to Texans.

Me: Do you know where such and such place is?

Texan: Sure, it’s next to LANDMARK.*

Me: Um, not from here, not familiar with that.

Texan: Oh, okay, it’s by OTHER LANDMARK.

Me: Really not from here, know no Landmarks, seriously, landmarks will not work in this convo.



This doesn’t happen other places. Other places, you ask for directions, someone will say, Sure, go five blocks, turn left on Santa Monica, it’ll be on the right about a mile down.

Not Texas. I’m not even sure they know what street signs are here.


*Note, “LANDMARK” is usually a restaurant or store you are unfamiliar with, but could also be a public building like a grammar school (you are unfamiliar with) or could also be a building that used to be someplace (you are unfamiliar with) but got torn down about ten years ago.


6 Responses to the trouble with texas

  1. Wait ’til you get the one that goes like this (and this is directly from my mom):

    “Well, you go for a ways down until you see the place where that little store used to be. It’s not there anymore, I’m not sure what they put up there now, something with ‘STORE’ in the name, I think. Or maybe that was the other way, the old way, before the cut the new road in. But then, when you see that place, you turn left. Or maybe right. You’ll know it because the house on the corner, the one that used to be yellow, has a brown roof.”

    Because really, it was the brown roof that cleared it all up for me.

  2. Max

    OMG! I got directions from your mom just the other day!

  3. Max, you’ve made a fatal flaw in your musing: You assumed Texans can read.

  4. Max

    LOL! Wow that is so wrong — but so funny.

  5. Funny, but wrong. Exactly what I was going for. Thanks!!!

  6. Max I’m pretty sure this was the genesis (as opposed to genius) that inspired ‘no child left behind’

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