(via the world famous Continental Club)
by Will White

Dear Foreigners,

That’s what we Texans call anyone not from here, and we mean it in a kind and loving way. Please see below for a few tips on how to immerse yourself in the yearly ritual called SXSW (including the non-SXSW shows) while not looking foolish or too out of place. There are many more but these are most important.

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1. TIP the bands and waitstaff and tip them WELL!: These fine folks entertaining and serving you go through a shit ton of hassle this time of year while you are getting your “party” on and whooping it up like Charlie Sheen on a bender in Tijuana! This means even if you are getting FREE beer and hearing FREE music!

2. Follow The Rules: If you are in a bar/dance-hall (especially when a country/honky-tonk/rockabilly band is playing) and people are trying to dance, DO NOT stand on the dance floor! And NO DRINKS on the dance floor while you are dancing either! Yes we all here know that you traveled many miles to see these bands, and are uber fans that rarely get to see said bands, but they are called DANCE FLOORS for a reason, not stand on floors. Hey, I don’t come over to your house and stand in front of the TV when the cricket match is on!

3. No Line Dancing: Contrary to what you have heard or seen in the movies, line dancing is NOT proper in Texas. Some dance-halls even outright forbid it and rightfully so. If you try to do it then expect to be laughed at, pointed at, and most likely asked to stop as it scares the children and old folks.

4. Dress Appropriately: And by this I am talking about the loads of those stupid crunched up faux cowboy hats, along with the Texas flag shirts and brightly colored cowboy boots. Yes everyone is fascinated with everything Texas and rightfully so. But not many natives wear Texas flag shirts (least not on a regular basis) since we know where we are from. I mean come on, the last thing I am gonna wear when I finally visit Australia is anything with their flag on it. I want to try and blend in, not scream “Hey, look at me I’m a tourist”! I will save the Aussie shirt (VB of course) to wear when I get back home. *Editors Note* – Australia is used here as an example only and does not in any way mean to reflect negative on the lovely people of that great continent…

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5. Courtesy: We are big on manners here in Texas. Our Moms and Dads made sure of it. By and large most Texans you run into will be helpful with directions, suggestions, and anything else you may need. True there are a few jerks in the bunch but that goes with everywhere else as well. So please, as they say… “when in Rome”. If you bump into someone say “I’m sorry”. If you spill a beer, and you will, apologize and offer to buy that person a drink. Trust me, you treat us right and the rewards can be plenty. The words “Thank You” go a long way here. FYI: My good friend and local badass doorman/jack-of-all-trades Heyt Ball says to “not start shit with the locals.”….. If you knew him, you would see why!

6. Know Your Limit: Trust me, we can’t stand our own kind when they are piss drunk out on the town, so no way in hell do we find it amusing when you are. Yes I know that the beer here is not as strong as where you are from but that is no reason to pound down a sixer (or two) to get your buzz on. And if the local boys in blue catch you, you best hope they are in a good mood cause they hate public intoxication more than anyone. Have fun but don’t be a jack wagon when doing so.

7. Don’t Be Confused: If you ask 100 Texans where the best bar b q, chicken fried steak, Mexican food, etc is, expect 100 different answers. Every place in Texas serves the best! How do I know? Because every sign/menu in every place says so…….Of course any Texan worth his/her salt will tell you that their Momma serves the best, and she DOES!

8. No We Don’t Speak Funny, YOU DO!: “Fixin’ta”, “Jeet”, “Aint’cha”, and Mere are all real words in Texas so please don’t correct us. In your “speak” they are: “About to”, “You eat”, “Are you”, and “Come here”…..

Be safe, Have fun, Clean up after yourself and remember……..the next round is on YOU!

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