With Washington near the top of any measure of economic, cultural and societal health, with Texas at or near the bottom. It was an extreme culture shock to move to Texas, to the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. And an extreme shock to return to Washington after a year away, the sky truly was the bluest blue, the trees the greenest green, the water so clear, so clean, and so much of it.
Visiting Seattle a week after the WTO Riots, nary a hint could be found of the destruction, despite virtually every downtown window having been destroyed. Visiting the Northwest a few month's after the March earthquake nary a hint could be found of the destruction, despite widespread damage....however, almost three year's after Fort Worth suffered a minor tornado the downtown is still not recovered. A damaged skyscraper stands covered first in plywood, now in metal. Seattle has blown up a Kingdome and finished building a new stadium in its place since Fort Worth has had a tornado blow through....such comparisons are many.
After awhile you adjust and accept it as the way things are. And some things actually improve. For instance in the last election Texas voters approved funding highway construction in the manner that the rest of the nation does funding. This after yet one more embarrassing statistic placed Texas near last place, this one being highway expenditures. Because of this change you lose some of the agitation you feel when confronted with what you soon learn is the 11 year Downtown Fort Worth Mixmaster Project, basically an upgrade of a freeway exchange, total costs under 200 million, a very laid back, slow motion road project. As if there is no awareness that the sooner one finishes such a project the sooner you benefit from the safety improvements and the sooner it provides an economic boon, rather than detriment. In Texas public works projects seem to take a long long time. Malls seem to get built fast though. As do restaurants. Texans like to eat, as evidenced by city after city in Texas once more being in the Top 20 list of most obese cities in America. Which has brought a statewide fitness campaign to try and skinny down the legions of porky Texans...if you think that's gonna happen I've got some valuable Enron stock I can let you have real cheap...