Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Fightin' Texas Aggies

So I came across this post a few weeks ago.  It outlined the 50 reasons that Texas is the Best State in America.

That is 100% true. 

I laughed out loud at many of them, but my favorite one was #1: "Texans are so damn charming when they brag about their state. (Um, aren't we?)"

When people here ask where I'm from, 95% of the time I say, "Texas, in the US."  Doesn't matter where in the world you are, people know Texas.  (Put that in your juice box and suck it, other states.)

 My absolute favorite thing about being from Texas, though, is being a Fightin' Texas Aggie from Texas A&M University. 

Here's a little about that:


This past weekend, I got to experience a (small) Muster up in Seoul.  It consisted of a handful of military men and a handful of teachers.  One guy was Aggie Class Of '77, the rest of us were in the 2000's, I was the only girl (not that I mind).  Most of them had been in the Corps of Cadets and the Fightin' Texas Aggie Band, so they swapped stories most of the night.  Since I have many good old friends from the corps, especially Q's, I loved listening to their conversation!  We talked about our majors and friends in common and football and northgate and the Hall of Fame... Mmm :)  Felt like home.  

Our Muster was held in a pub in Itaewon, a very westernized district in Seoul, so with the Aggie conversation and the bar full of foreigners, it didn't feel like we were in Korea at all for a few hours.  I said something about wishing there was a dance hall in Korea and wouldn't you know it, there is a tiny one in Itaewon!  So not only did I get to have a fabulous dinner surrounded by Aggies, but I got to go DANCING!  Real, country, two-stepping, spinning out on the floor, dancing!  I was even wearing boots, though they were the rain kind and not the dancin' kind.  Whatever, I work with what I got.  The party broke up pretty early cause the subways close around 11ish and many of the guys had barracks curfews and lame stuff like that, but oh, for an few hours, it felt like home.

Don't get me wrong at all, I love traveling, I love living here in South Korea, and I'm overwhelmed with how happy I am most days.  But Texas, and especially A&M, are just that wonderful.  It was great to feel a part of that for a little while over here.  Like a little bit of medicine for my seoul (if you'll pardon the pun).


So a few days later, Tuesday afternoon, I'm talking to my Korean friend Joanna at work.  She asked me about Texas and I was telling here bits and pieces about it, then she asked "What's the best thing about Texas?"

What an impossible question!

The best thing?

Um, everything?  How can you even begin to answer that?

Call me biased (I know, I know, but for real) there's almost nothing bad.  We've got our problems, to be sure, but all in all?  There's something for everyone.  You can't point at one area of Texas and say that it represents all of Texas.  There's so much variety, from Mexican-Border-Texas, to Gulf-Coast-Texas, to North-Texas, to Cajun-Influenced-East-Texas, to Panhandle-Texas, to Hill-Country-Texas, to Big-City-Texas, to Small-Town-Texas, to Amazing-Rivers-Texas, to Brush-Country-Texas, to EVERYTHING ELSE!  There's the best food in the world, the best rodeo, the greatest music, the best football.  We've got international acclaim and representation.  It takes at least 12 hours to drive across our state, East-West, more to drive North-South. 

I told her it's impossible to answer, but if I had to say just one thing, I'd say the weather.  We rarely have freezing temps, but they only last maybe 3 days consecutively (in the Houston area, at least) then it'll be up in the high 70's the next day.  I have a standing goal to wear shorts on every major holiday, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas included.  I often succeed!  I keep saying it, but I don't know what I'm gonna do next winter here, where it's ALWAYS averaging freezing temps, for months consecutively! 

So, as I'm describing the awesomeness of Texas, I pull up the map on Google and point to the different areas, cause I'm a visual person and I like to have visuals when I explain stuff.  As I'm pointing this all out to Joanna, Jennifer (another Korean teacher in the office) hears me mention College Station, TX, (aka God's Country) and tells me that she used to live there!


 She lived there from '07 to '10, because her husband was getting a grad degree at TEXAS A&M!!!


We were even neighbors at one point.  She lived off Southwest Parkway, near where I lived in '09-'10.  How awesome is that?  We talked Aggie stuff, traditions, Maroon Out t-shirts, great restaurants in C-Stat, whathaveyou.  She told me that Texas was her favorite place in the USA.  Just as it should be :) 

What a small world, right?  And what beautiful, Aggieland-filled few days I've had.

Thanks and Gig'em!  (Gig'em)

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