The first thing you need to know is this: everything you’ve heard about Texas is true.
It is big. The roads are big, the trucks that rumble on them are big, the bugs you’ll find curled up dead and twitching under the sink are huge. The people are friendly – you’ll see more smiles than you’re maybe used to. And yes, when someone says, ‘Have a nice day’, they’ll sound as if they mean it, even if they don’t.
And it’s hot. Not middle-of-London hot. Not Brighton-Beach-in-August hot. Scorched earth, razed buildings, bleached-bones-in-the-desert hot. People weren’t meant to live here, but because some genius invented air-conditioning, here we all are, running from shade to shade like vampires in stetsons.
You can, if you choose, eat better here than you’ve ever eaten before. But you won’t. You’ll eat the barbecue, the fried chicken, the burgers, the pancakes, the bacon, because they have taken comfort food and raised it to the level of a religion. When you eat in Texas, you will be comforted. And, very soon, you’ll be a prime candidate for a genuine Texas coronary.
And, when that day comes, and the heavy hammer of cholesterol hits you hard between your lungs, you’ll say, ‘It was worth it.’ And you’ll be right.