The end of my first trip to Texas in three years is nigh and I am sipping one of my last American beers in the Houston airport. Thanks to Google, I’m on free wi-fi and get to catch up on some mind numbing web surfing and prepare for the 12 hour flight ahead.
This has been an incredible trip. Sitting in Prague, only glued into the Internet and a smattering of US news, one can get the impression that America has seen its last best days. Being here, in person, amongst Texans, I get a completely different impression. Yes, times are hard. Some are faring better than others in these dicey economic times but most are getting by or will be in short measure. The quality of life here continues to be one of the highest and most egalitarian that I have seen anywhere in the world. And, if your idea of good living is great music, pretty country, succulent BBQ and incredible Tex-Mex, then everyone here is living like a king.
The American dream continues to roll on, meaning different things to different people. Many are oblivious to what is happening outside their towns, and contrary to popular thought, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It hasn’t been many generations since man has had reason to worry about what is going on in other places other than the 20 city blocks that they frequent. Kind of hard to blame them, isn’t it?
Typically, trips like these leave me conflicted. This one is no different. Family and friends are in abundance here and I miss and love each one of them. But we’ve also made a really good life over in the Czech Republic. We’ve been blessed with great friends, days that are always interesting and unpredictable and the chance of a lifetime. Luckily, Mrs. NH and I agree that we’re not quite ready for the end of this chapter abroad.
That being said, there’s no place in the world like this great state. It has everything that is great about this country. The best thing is, as we mess around abroad, Texas just seems to keep on keepin’ on and get better on the way. So, if this Russian analyst is, in fact, correct, at least I can still be a Texan.