Three weeks down the road, I am almost a Texas resident now. Although state law requires me to spend at least 9 months before I can legally claim to be a resident, I am making myself comfortable here. My Tercel now proudly sports Texas license plates, screwed on the back (and the front too). I mention the front of the car because in Georgia, we weren’t required to sport plates on the front and my car doesn’t even have the necessary slots for screwing it in. I had to slip it in during an oil change to avoid the preposterous labor charges that American mechanics seem to demand for frivolous jobs.
Ash asked me why I didn’t get customized license plates that have prettier designs. First of all, ‘pretty’ license plates serve no function. A cop isn’t going to let me off for speeding because I have a ‘pretty’ license plate. Vrooom! I whoosh by a waiting state trooper. The cop lying in wait to complete his monthly quota of tickets instantly snaps to attention and chases me. One look at my ‘pretty’ license plate and his heart melts; he cannot handle so much beauty and he slows down and sheds a drop of tear and thanks me (mentally) for
showing me that there is more to this world than speeding. Not going to happen, so why bother?
I am not much of a fan for customized license plates after I have seen some pretty cheesy ones sported by Desis (Yogu, I don’t mean yours). One of my ex-college friends had the bright idea of taking two syllables from his girlfriend’s name and adding it to the last
two syllables from his own to come up with a weird customized plate. I try to preserve my sanity by not falling for that and moreover, if I did the same (Ashtrix) we might just sound like a Bong Asterix. I am not willing to be the Obelix of the pair while not suggesting that she should be either.
Anyway, the Department of Public Safety, the agency that issues driving licenses in the state takes its job pretty seriously. While surrendering my Georgia license and getting a new Texas one, the lady at the counter made me hold up my right hand and swear that the information I had provided was correct. I was waiting for her to mention God somewhere in the oath for me to make a smart remark. Of course, I wouldn’t have but doesn’t hurt to imagine that I would have, right? But the picture in the new license is pretty okay compared to the seedy one in my previous license; so I am not complaining.
The vehicle insurance of course has risen by a few notches but I have ranted on that already. I have already been to the two popular coffee shops in town, the only mall in town, supposedly the ‘world-famous’ FreeBirds burrito place and decent wings place WingStop, and was planning for a Saturday excursion to a nearby state park (didn’t happen though). Desi stuff is available in plenty in stores nearby; even the latest video releases which surprisingly have better print quality than our Atlanta rental place. HyB, my roommate was right when he said, onions and tomatoes have built India and to add to it, plenty of random spices. None of that too scarce here and after all, Houston is not too