‘Dear New Texan:’ An Open Letter To Transplants

We didn’t need the official new census numbers to tell us there are a lot of new Texans out there. One long-time Texan shares some advice for those who’ve just settled in to the Lone Star State.

By Laura RiceAugust 13, 2021 6:55 am,

Michelle Kaman isn’t a native Texan. But her family moved here when she was three so she got here “as soon as I could.” Kaman grew up in San Antonio and now lives in Austin. She says she occasionally hops onto Facebook with messages for new Texans.

“I’ll say, like, ‘Dear new Texans, it’s not hot yet.’ You know, like it’s 80 degrees and people are complaining. I’m like, no, it’s just you have to change your mindset. And remember that 90 is still not hot. You know, when it gets to 100, 110, that’s hot.”

“And I put it in the form of a letter because it’s more personal, I guess. There’s something more friendly about a letter, and I think that really exemplifies what Texas is, it’s not like, ‘hey, you should do this.’ It’s like, ‘hey, welcome to Texas, here’s some things you should know.'”

“So as far as driving etiquette, I think even Texans could brush up on their driving etiquette… If someone has their signal on in front of you and you get over first, let them in front of you. If you see someone pulling out of a parking spot, wait for them to come out, don’t try to whip around them. You know, turn your headlights on when it’s raining. You don’t need your flashers. If you have your flashers on, it tells us as Texans maybe you have a flat tire or your engine is dying and you need to get over or, you know, you’re in distress. Oh, honking. Drives me nuts. It’s one of those things that if I get honked at it, it ruins my whole day. I hate it.”

“Bring an ice cube to your car to wipe down your steering wheel and your seatbelt… Keep a gallon of water in your car at all times to refill your water bottles… Just for the fun of it, try baking cookies on your dashboard at least once… Same thing with frying an egg on the sidewalk.”

“As far as other etiquette things that I think people in Texas do that people don’t do elsewhere… if your kid is staring at someone, tell your kid to say ‘hello.’ You can tell them, ‘hey, it’s rude if you stare,’ but you should also tell them you can say hi. And, same thing, if you see a little kid staring at, you say hello… you teach people kindness that way. And I think one thing about Texas is, you know, strangers will talk to you. We talk in line, we talk in the elevator, we talk here!”

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