Nomadic Journals from Texas: Days 1 & 2

Texas is pretty flat. It was the first distinguishing feature pointed out by my host family’s mother: Texas is flat. Actually, no. The first thing you notice is that Texas is hot. Sure, 85-90 can feel OK if it’s not humid, but in Texas, it’s hot and humid, the worst combo. Honestly, if Texas weren’t actually so hot, then dang, this would be a place to die for (relatively speaking).

Texas is hot and flat; seriously, flat. The land stretches out far into the horizon, and with basically nothing to obscure your vision, you can actually see Route 59 spearhead straight into the distance. Very little change in elevation exists. Occasionally the land rises, but for every slight topographic rise, there is always an equal and opposite topographic dip that levels the balances. This isn’t to say there are no slopes at all. Texas seems to be extremely hell bent on the look of their state, so at least from Houston to Sugar Land (yes, Sugar Land), Texas is pretty georgeous. Originally imagining Texas a desert wasteland with cacti and tumbleweed, I was pleasantly surprised to see a wealth of green everywhere you looked. Even a lot of the trees are taller than the ones back in Maryland. To say even better thing, the residential communities are gorgeous, though State laws are pretty anal about making sure you don’t plant any plants in your front yard, as well as ensuring that every house has exactly two trees in their yard. lol.

To one up even more, everything in Texas is large. And I mean large. Sure, perhaps not every building is the size of the Dubai Tower or the Great Wall of China (to be honest, downtown Houston is really tiny compared to NYC), but most food portions, building masses, and home neighborhoods, are so considerably large in scale, especially in comparison to their Californian and DC Area counterparts. The most relatable night where the size of things in Texas dawned upon me was their AMC Movie Theatre. Holy shit what that thing huge. It sported about 8 theatres, so the number of theatres isn’t something to call home about, but the size of each theatre blows my mind. From the outside, the building was enourmous. With yellow stone walls that scaled nearly four or five stories and stretched four to five blocks, It wasn’t the prettiest of buildings, as solid stone walls for modern day venues are pretty lame, but once you enter the building (or order tickets just outside), the multitude of lights is dizzying. Once we had purchased our tickets (which were $10, argh) for Madagascar 3, we entered Theatre 1 and kind of just fainted on the floor.

The theatre’s screen was GINORMOUS (I’m trying to continuously find synonyms for HUGE, so have some lineancy if accidentally repeat a word). About the size of an IMAX screen without actually being IMAX, Madagascar 3 looked insanely gigantic, clean, and bright. I ended having a lot of fun watching Madagascar 3, which ended up being so crazy and trippy that I had a lot of fun watching it. This has greatly surged my interest and excitement for watching Pixar’s Brave that releases this Friday. I am quite fortunate to be able to enjoy Pixar’s 13th feature film on a lucrative screen (and on a semi-lucrative budget). Large portions of steak? Tantalizzing, but hard to manage. Large movie screens for entertainment consumption? Easy.

Why am I in Texas? I was able to an opportunity shadowing an MD/PhD Pathologist at MD Anderson Cancer Center (their logo actually has Cancer crossed out; it’s pretty sweet). I currently live with him in his home and the majority of his family is out, either in Pakistan, working, or interning/taking classes. So what do you get when you have an Asian college student, an Indian pathologist, and a dog named Shakka living in the same house.

[insert punchline here]

Cheers.

P.S. Nearly all the traffic lights here are horizontal and not vertical. Strange.
P.P.S I’ll be in Sugar Land, Texas for about 4 weeks (aka, a month). I’ll try to do a daily log of my adventures at the MD Anderson Cancer Center if they are worth logging.
P.P.P.S. Sullivan for Prez!

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