Spending the evening at home, resting the sore ankle from the rigorous physiotherapy, I decide to watch a movie from my stash. So I put on ‘Your Love Never Fails’ and settle in to be mindlessly entertained. Instead what I get is a stirring of emotions that I haven’t felt in a while, and the opportunity to reflect on some old memories.
The movie begins with a super successful corporate New York city woman’s life, being a single mom, VP of retail banking and then shows how her life is thrown into disarray with the arrival of a subpoena to return to Centreville, Texas to deal with her pending divorce and custody settlement for her daughter.
Once there, she has lunch with her still-husband–enchiladas and dirty rice; my mouth is watering. All I can think of is eating Tex-Mex food. So at 10:10 pm, I’m in the kitchen making a pork sausage burrito with Texas seasoning and hot salsa I chanced upon and keep handy for days of reminiscing. I dig in and my Texas craving is satisfied, well, maybe just partly.
As the movie continues in Texas, I am transported back to the first time I landed in Austin International Airport (which turned out to be just a little bigger than that of Muscat). Cowboy boots and checked shirts, the Frost building downtown, the University campus that became my home, the winding country lanes, the daytime bars and the wonderful Texas drawl–a dear part of my memory as I spent six beautiful years in Austin as a student.
Some people raise an eyebrow or roll their eyes when I say I went to school in Texas, clearly they think everyone is a “redneck,” to me Texas is a place where I became who I am today. I loved some special people, I lost some very dear to my heart, I laughed myself silly, I cried myself to sleep, I ate like a pig, I drank way too much, I partied all night, I worked long hours, I danced three-four times a week, I sang at late-night gatherings, I made friends for life, I let go of the people who didn’t deserve me in their life.
Life has changed so much since Austin, and I’m in a new city again, making new friends and making a new life for myself. But my heart still yearns for the simplicity of Texas. For the kind people I met, the craziness I saw, the goodness of the town folk, the sense of life it gave me.
In Austin there were a lot of firsts–my first black Fender which I sadly had to leave behind, my first car, a feisty two-door Honda civic that I adored, my first pair of professional salsa shoes that I cherish even today, my first pair of real goat skin Texas boots which are to die for, my first three-day music festival, Austin City Limits, that blew my mind, my first dance performance to the Godfather Waltz with my Texas Ballroom team.
It’s in Austin that I discovered and explored my passion for ballroom dance and salsa, dancing week after week to the music of The Brew at Copa. It’s in Austin that I realised that I wanted to do nothing other that write my whole life (and maybe dance as well). It’s in Austin that I finally learned how to cook a decent meal. It’s in Austin that we danced a Bollywood performance on the coldest night I can ever remember! It’s in Austin that I ate crawfish and alligator and was introduced to tapas. It’s in Austin that I learned how to make a killer margarita and Hurricane! It’s in Austin that I danced the two-step to the Bellamy Brothers live. It’s in Austin that I went to a Broadway production of the Rat Pack and sang my heart out and danced till my feet hurt. It’s in Austin that I worked for a non-profit, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, that I really believed in.It’s in Austin that I took a trip to San Antonio by myself and had the most memorable weekend of my life.
When I miss Texas, I go eat Mexican food, and though it’s good here, it will never be the same. There’s something about the Texas air that can never be replicated.
Sigh! What I would give for a Trudy’s Mexican Martini and Tinga Tacos. How many nights have been spent there with friends? How many special occasions celebrated at the outdoor tables off 30th street? I can never forget those moments.
Any rich enterprising youth looking for a business idea? I have one for you–bring Chipotle to India. I will eat there day and night for the rest of my life! Anyone coming from Austin please gets me one of their delicious giant burritos, pretty pretty please!
These are just a few stories of my time in Texas, and this is for all my friends who I’ve know since then. I miss you all and I think fondly of the wonderful times. Austin, your love never fails, you will always be home to me.
The adventures chalked the letters GTT on their doors as they ventured out seeking fresh starts.
I’m Gone To Texas (at least in my mind)!! Hook ‘em Horns!!