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Don't Mess With Texas

I spent the last weekend in February with 25 HBSers discovering Texas. I was promised real Mexican food, a chance to ride a mechanical bull, a trip to the Boot City, cowboys who did not vacation at Brokeback Mountain, and lots of dancing. Flying back from Austin to Boston, this Turkish girl could not help but wonder if she should have been required to apply for a visa to visit the Republic of Texas.

Admittedly, I cannot begin to explain what makes the spirit of Texas so unique. However, in true HBS fashion, here are the top 10 take-aways from my brief time where the road goes on forever and the party never ends.

On behalf of my fellow HBSers on the trip, I would like to thank the organizers, Madison Mauze and Elliot Zimmer (OE), for a job well done. If you are feeling jealous, at least one of 84 proud HBS Texans will be more than happy to host you next time. Yee-Haw!

1. Texas’ cowboys definitely have rhythm
Whether it is on a crazy bull at the rodeo or on the dance floor at Coupland. They will even hold doors for you and call you “ma’am.” Our own resident cowboy, Madison Mauze (OC), is Fred Astaire reincarnated – always the first one grooving on the dance floor and the last one to close every party.

2. Sixth Street is the new Bourbon Street so think twice before sending your daughters to the University of Texas – Austin for college. While you’re at it, tell them to watch out for Miro Morczinek (OC) and Anuj Maheshwari (OC). I believe they are still there.

3. When in Austin, you must drink Mexican Martinis (something of a martini margarita – not two separate drinks, but combined) and a shot of Flaming Dr. Pepper. After a few of each, country music does not sound that bad. Really.

4. Eoin O hOgain (OC) can sing some pretty funky Irish folk songs
and dance like he stole the Lord of the Dance’s mojo. Also, Christa Bowdish (OA) has the voice of an angel. If you need proof, talk to those who saw her perform at the HBS Show.

5. Premium-quality cowboy clothes can cost thousands of dollars
yet Texans wear them everyday; even Governor Rick Perry showed off his when we met him. Texas designs and manufactures boots in 823,418 colors and 75,259 shapes from 9,573 types of material. Ask Ayse Tekiner (OE) or Maegan Plagge (OB) to show you the combination they picked.

6. Mutton busting is not what you think it is
I’m not kidding. Go to a rodeo or ask Megan Gardner (OJ).

7. Eight seconds is a long time, especially if you are trying to stay on a raging mechanical bull. Thorsten Toepfer (OI) and Bjorn Eriksson (OI) can tell you about it.

8. Shopping at the enormous Whole Foods store (headquartered in Austin) can turn into a day-long trip. Even with a map, it will take you half an hour to find anything in this 80,000 square feet store with four restaurants and a fountain of chocolate.

9. You will never be dirtier than after spending the coldest night in San Antonio’s history amongst the hay and barrel fires at the annual Mauze Family Barn Party.

10. And, you do not have to be born in Texas to be a Texan
Sam Houston told us all we had the Texas spirit in us. But, I may be wrong because this was happening while I was screaming, having felt a rattlesnake under my seat.

April 24, 2006
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