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LIVING MY GAP YEAR

Dallas Discoveries

Zuzu Tadeushuk

Forgive me this Dallas post is a few days after the fact but..the only free minutes I've had between Dallas and now were on planes, during which moments unfortunately sleep (or the pursuit of sleep most of the time) took priority. Sorry ;)

My second arriving impression of Texas hits me as I file out of the Domestic Arrivals passage of the Dallas Fort Worth airport. It’s exactly the same as my first impression was two months ago: fried food. The smell, equal parts repulsive and alluring, hits hard and fast, the way a sudden fog descends unannounced. I stroll out into the night, and this Dallas arrival is just like that last Dallas arrival— except this time my luggage was not confiscated and lost, hem hem! And I’m glad it wasn’t… although now I look back fondly on the liberated feeling I had when I stepped out into a strange place with only a dying cell phone and the clothes on my back (of course that’s easy for me to say now: at the time I was bawling if you recall. Ah, what remarkable capacities has the human mind for forgetting pain)!  But tonight with my trusty carry-on in tow I sally forth to find a taxi to take me to my hotel. It’s 11pm and I’m here for one night; a sleepover of sorts— but 1500 miles away! About as short and sweet as a sleepover is (and a bit more financially worth it), my stay in Dallas was this time free of mishap and full of discovery.

 

What I Learned About Dallas from Being There for Two 24-Hour Visits, Most of Which Time Was Spent at Work:

  • Dallas seems like an active business destination: I saw more hotels there than any other establishment (except Steak Houses, perhaps).
  • Texans are proud to be Texans: I overheard a group of men at my job saying that when they travel to Europe they don’t identify themselves as being from the US, but rather tell people they are simply "from Texas." They claim they always get impressed reactions.
  • Texans are friendly: every time I found myself confused or lost, whether in the airport or on the street, strangers walking by invariably paused to offer directions, advice, or even just a “howdy” that always left me feeling safe. They are also talkative— judging by the various taxi drivers I had there, one of whom discussed with me the comparative benefits of trucking versus taxi driving as professions (trucking is more fun but taxi driving better suited for raising a family), and another who gave me a sermon on avoiding assaulters. The recent Uber rape case might have been avoided, she explained, if the victim had acted on the “bad feeling” she claimed to have when her car picked her up… Follow your gut, dear, this frank lady told me with a solemn nod as we pulled up to my airport terminal.
  • But Dallas wasn’t all business: Texans know how to throw a party too, as proved by the group of college kids renting out a suite at the hotel I stayed in. They put up quite a racket, keeping me awake the night before my shoot. It wasn't long, though, before my exhaustion overpowered their boombox and I slept like a baby. The next morning saw me on set early with Neiman Marcus— a cheerful, friendly local team, what else would you expect? And that night I was flying back home with straightened hair, a wee bit of insight into the ‘Lone Star’ state, and the scent of fried food still clinging to my clothes.

Getting my hair straightened pre-shoot at Neiman Marcus