Friday, July 15, 2011

Travel: 17/6/11 Texas: Sugar and Flags

So the local Walmart has a flag aisle. Mostly because it's near the 4th of July, my girlfriend's sister tells me. But partly because this is Texas. I resisted asking in my most middle-eastern accent, "Zis. Iz zis flamable?"

People think that America is a country run on oil, but quite frankly it's sugar that the country doesn't seem to be able to do without. It’s in everything from bread to milk to carrots. Meanwhile scientists are baffled by an epidemic of obesity. I blame the Communists.

Despite this epidemic, one of the malls near my girlfriend's parents seems to have more sports stores than anything else. It's bizarre, because in general people don't seem so sporty round here. However, the ones who are, are pretty hardcore. We saw several people running in the midday heat of this heatwave. Apparently because it makes them work harder.

Well if you can't beat them, join them, as the old adage says. And as I can't beat that adage, I have to concede to its wisdom. I bought some running shoes. Some of you might know this already, but I have recently started running. I'll write more on this soon as I'm quite the running bore these days. In fact, Running Boar is my new Native American name given to me by the North Pumadikas tribe.

As well as shoes I bought some special running socks with the letters "L" and "R," one on each. Now I really feel like an athlete.

Lunch was at Chick-fil-A who claim to have invented the concept of putting chicken inside buns. Maybe they did. Although it really just seems like a specific application of the Earl of Sandwich's original patent ("A process of serving a variety of foodstuffs by placing the same between two slices of bread").

Dinner was at the Meddlesome Moth, a restaurant that was like a gastro pub in a warehouse. The food was great, but in those gastro pub sampler sizes. It also had a great selection of beers. We Europeans rightly denigrate Americans for their general awfulness in the beer department, whilst forgetting that it's also a country with a large enough population that anything is possible. It also has a strong German heritage. Because of this, it does have some great breweries. They're often small, local and they don't export. So we tend to think the only choices are "Buttwiper" and "Flavor Lite." And in this we are wrong. That's not to say that vast swathes of the community don't drink these poor options, mostly because every 5 minutes the TV tells them to.

Anyhoo, to end on a positive beer note, I had a thoroughly tasty, local brew called "512 Pecan Porter" which was like a nutty stout and worth tracking down.

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