I had set my mind to go to Dallas the very first day I watched ‘Walker Texas Ranger’. I have no inkling whatsoever as to what peaked my curiosity about the place, in the show of course. The people perhaps? The Cowboy hats? The boots? Weather? Ranches? What exactly it means to be in ‘The Lone Star State’? I don’t know what excited 9 year old me, besides Chuck Norris’ acting, obviously.
I didn’t get to stay there for long, responsibilities and all. I did, however, conclude a number of things about Dallas, Texas:
- Texas is HOT. Seriously, I thought I was in a furnace! Funny enough, I didn’t mind. Now I know that this is a horrid behavior but I like to compare other parts in the continental U.S.A to my initial home, Seattle. (Relax, Nairobi, Kenya is and will always be home). If you have been or lived in Seattle or in Washington, pretty sure you know that the place is blessed with occasional showers and breeze. While uncomfortable, it gives you breathing air. You can actually breathe. Dallas? I was sweating by mid-morning. It actually reminded me of the weather that Nairobi experiences, at least in July.
- People are really friendly. I have a confession to make. When I was relatively new in the States, a couple of my friends had warned me from ‘going to the south’. Why? I always asked. ‘Because people in the south can be pretty prejudiced against people of color (whatever that means) in the south’ was the response that I always got. Trust me, I had vowed not to go to the south. Later on, you kind of figure out that you cannot let fear dictate how you live your life you know? I truly believe that God wishes for us to be happy.
- The cost of living is relatively cheaper in Texas. Have you seen the price of gas in Dallas?
- People living in the South are well-mannered. Now I know that the concept of ‘mannerisms’ is relative. I get it. I am yet to travel far and wide but the much I have travelled (North-Pacific, some parts of the East Coast and now shortly in the South), some of the most well-mannered people I have met are in in the South.
- Dallas, Texas has brick houses! I kid you not, the last time I saw a brick (stone) house was back in Kenya. So far, all I have seen in America are made out of wood. Key words here being so far. And they are so beautiful! Guys I saw a ranch! with horses! Ah!
- The road infrastructure in Dallas, especially in downtown is exquisite. The roads are wider and much more defined. I’ll let the pictures below explain this.
- ‘The Potter’s House’ in North Dallas was one of the best worship churches I have attended in a long time. Now I know how wrong it is to compare worship and sermons, Believe me. I feel as though worship is something relative and incredibly personal. This sanctuary and its people made me feel like my search for a church I WAS ACTUALLY COmfortable with in the States was over. Thank You.
- I prefer Sea-Tac international airport to Dallas-Fortworth international airport. Sea-Tac is less complicated, as far as parking is concerned.
For this trip, I tried as much as possible to ‘live in the moment’ and not get all touristy with my camera. I failed, miserably. I used the Fuji-film Xt2 with the standard 18-55mm lens. I occasionally would use the TT560 speedlite Flash. I love it! Why? It comes with a white cardboard that helps reflect the light that bounces from the sun to the subject. That is, if you use the flash. I find that I use the 1/125 shutter speed for the standard pictures. If the subjects are moving, increase your shutter speed. ISO proves to be a bit of a challenge for me in sunny weather. I can’t use the same ISO inside on a sunny day (100 or so) as the one that I would use inside.
Amateur Pro-tip: The sun and photography do not go well together ALMOST all of the time. A lot of light is never a good idea in photography. At least for me. I had postponed this trip to Fall, hoping for that crisp Autumn weather. One of the perks of living in Seattle or say, Ithaca. Turns out Texas is really really hot. Like 90F hot in October! What?
Enjoy the pictures!