“At least Texas is still a foreign country,” I thought as I landed in Dallas for my layover and walked through the glass-paned tubular hallways of the airport, stepping on the moving sidewalk and stepping off. As we flew over the state, the airplane window wrinkled my forehead as I temporarily got lost staring at all the tan-colored boxy houses with wide green yards and impossibly bright turquoise pools. All the winding highways, the matchbox cars, the hazy smog that had settled for a long stay over the city of Dallas. It’s always a bit of a shock to go from one country to the next, but I’ve never really experienced it much when I now visit family and friends in the States after coming from Mexico. I experience it even less so when I stop in a place like Dallas, where southern drawls replace Mexican accents and Spanish is the second official language. Tall cowboy hats or boots and beige-colored skin is all the rage on everybody, no matter where you’re from.
Besides people and style, what also makes it over the border from Mexico to Texas is something that’s not unexpected: fear. The AP just did a story about the threat of grenades being thrown into Texas bars by revenge-seeking drug hit men that is scaring a whole lot of people.