You should have heard my mother when we told her we were moving to a little town in south Texas ten miles from the border of Mexico. I might as well have been moving to my death. Contrary to her warnings, after living here a year, I can say that I have never had to dodge a stray bullet or come face-to-face with the Cartel. (Of which I must add, I am very grateful for.)
I admit I had some worries of my own living so close to a border that is struggling to maintain peace. However, After some time I learned that even though we are close I don’t have to duck and cover when I walk out my front door. Although violence is regrettably the focus in most border towns, there are some funny things I have noticed about living on the border.
First is dental work. Never in a million years would the thought have crossed my mind in Utah to say, “I think I’ll fly down and get my dental work done in Mexico.” However, I seem to need to get on top of things. Apparently, numerous people have come up with this idea while sitting in the dental chair. I have run into people from Chicago, Ohio, Minnesota, even from the other border, Canada! They all found out that buying a plane ticket, paying for a hotel, and getting their dental work done in Mexico, is cheaper than getting their teeth fixed in their home town. Who knew?! Not me I guess.
A benefit of being next-door-neighbors with Mexico is obviously the great Mexican food. You can find a taco stand on nearly every corner. This is a great benefit for someone like me who could eat Mexican every night. I’ve never seen such a variety of tacos…specifically breakfast tacos. A negative is the cars that get stolen, specifically trucks. Moving from one of the top ten safest cities in America, we had to get use to actually locking our car door and adding a makeshift alarm system (made-up of a steering wheel club).
Some generally funny things of being so close…half of the billboard signs are in Spanish, I still don’t know what “dale gas” means, snow cones come with chili powder on them, every city has its own “Pulga,” I see more Border Patrol cars than cop cars, people expect to get Cinco de Mayo off of work, people describe me as having, “Colored eyes,” and I get a little bit excited when I see someone who shares my same hair color.
Have I missed anything? Do tell what things you enjoy or find amusing of living in our beloved border town.
Corinne recently moved from Utah to Texas and enjoys pointing out the funny things she notices that are “Only in Texas.” You can contact her with comments & questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.