Texas: Take Two

And as we were driving down the highway
She asked me baby what’s so great
How come you’re always going on
About your Lone Star State

I said that’s right you’re not from Texas
But Texas wants you anyway

– Lyle Lovett, “That’s Right (You’re Not from Texas)”

No, really, Texas, take the two of us. I’ve been sitting on this news for quite some time, not intentionally; it has been a whirlwind. I am back in the states and John will soon follow.

The state of the oil market plus COVID-19 rendered John’s Danish job “redundant.” He learned of his job’s fate the end of March. The good news is due to Denmark’s incredible employment rules, John got a few months notice, with pay.

In the meantime, freelancing worked for me while John was working, but I needed something that was a bit more stable and included insurance. I started applying for jobs and weighing options in Kansas City and north Texas, close to both of our families. Reaching out to my network the end of March, I got a call a month later offering me a position in Houston. It just so happens it is the satellite office of my previous San Antonio agency.

In just over a week, I learned about the potential postiion, interviewed, packed up my things and started a new job. That was just the beginning.

Coming from Denmark, which was already opening back up, and arriving in Houston before it hit its peak was eye opening. Never having to wear a mask in Europe, I wore one in the nearly empty airports and planes from Billund, Denmark, to Houston.

My first experience wearing a mask. It was a lot of hours.
All the passengers on the once daily flight from Amsterdam to Atlanta. Only four people in each row of eight seats. It was a bit unnerving since it was the first time in months that I had mingled with people beyond Danish borders.

When I got off the plane in Houston, I was met by Department of Public Safety officers. Texas required a two week quarantine for anyone crossing its borders, whether you came across state lines or Timbuktu. I had to fill out my quarantine address and phone, told I needed to stay there for two weeks and if I was not found at that address, I would be fined $1000 or 180 days in jail.

In the Airbnb I stayed … for two weeks. What I was most thankful for was the instacart grocery service. I was able to order groceries online and have them delivered to my door. It was perfect. I also lucked out in finding this particular Airbnb. I was able to book two months of stays at the same property because COVID created a number of cancellations. My Airbnb host is even a realtor. How convenient! I’ve found a townhouse that is within a reasonable driving distance to my work. Hallelujah! We’re expected to close mid-July.

Airbnb for month one was over a garage. Month two was in the home in front of the garage. Again, very convenient.

I gave myself one day off between travel and starting my job. It was great to start right off the bat. It definitely helped getting over jet lag. Also, since everyone was working from home, it didnt’ matter that I was quarantined. All I needed was internet. The marvels of Microsoft Teams.

Thanks to COVID I was also able to do my car shopping online, have it delivered, do a quick test drive and purchase. That is so much better than going to a dealership and staying all day. A few texts, a couple emails and a phone call. Voila! I had a car right after quarantine.

I bought a Honda having never driven a Honda before in my life. Good purchase.

I have been in Texas about seven weeks now, and I feel like I’ve been in lockdown forever. We’ve been quarantining with the rest of the world since the beginning of March, I had another hard quarantine here, I’ve met my co-workers online, I met a few in person for a few days that our offices were open, then Houston’s COVID cases began to spike and, if you’re smart, you’re in a self-induced lockdown. I’ve ventured out to look at homes, go the grocery and do a few other things, but no proper exploring. I would much rather be in lockdown with my person, but in just a few short weeks, John will be here. (By the way, he’s my person.)

The coolers of Blue Bell are waiting for you, John!

There you have it, I’m back in Texas. I have mixed emotions about the whole thing. We had big plans for this spring and summer. Plans for Berlin were cancelled along with dreams of exploring the rest of Europe. What is most disappointing is leaving the many friends we met from, not only Denmark, but around the world. In one short year, we were able to make friends that I have, no doubt, will last a lifetime. It just means we will have to go back on our own to explore.

Living abroad was an experience I had always dreamed about. I got to do it! No matter the sudden change, what a blessing to have such a life-altering experience.

Having coffee before I left with Marie, one of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet. You’re truly missed!
Bola and Dayo having us over for a beautiful Nigerian meal before I left. I learned Houston has a large Nigerian community and lots of Nigerian restaurants. We will try it out a few and fondly remember this wonderful couple!
Saying, “Until we meet again,” to the crew. Steen! I wish you were in the picture! We met, socially distanced, at Esbjerg’s beautiful water tower.
Friends making sure John isn’t all by his lonesome while I”m gone – Fabio, Ksenia, Svetlana and Pavel.

I will continue to blog about our American adventures; you know there are more places to explore! Vi ses, Danmark, and howdy, Texas. Until next time, see y’all!

2 comments

  1. Awh… we will definitely remember you too. You’re probably the most sociable person I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.

    Like

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