Way back before electricity, people would decide to immigrate to Texas, and they would say that they were "Gone to Texas", or just write "GTT" on their front door. People are still heading this way. I've noticed that there have been quite a few Northerners moving to my fair city lately. Some of them are military families, of course, but others just sort of showed up, U-hauls in tow.
Welcome. Texas is a great state, and you will like living here. I have a few pointers if you are interested in blending in with the locals. Even if you are just visiting, these tiny insights may come in handy. Or at least keep you from getting strung up from the nearest tree.
1. The usual stereotypes do not apply. The typical Texan does not look a thing like JR Ewing from the television show Dallas. Not every Hispanic person speaks Spanish with a horrible accent. Nor do we run around dressed like characters from the movie Urban Cowboy. Okay, some of us do, and we taunt them mercilessly. Most Texans do not own cowboy hats, nor do we all own horses. We do, however, own guns. Lots and lots and lots of them. So I guess that that particular stereotype does apply.
2. "Real" chili does not have beans in it. Chili is a big deal here. There's probably chilympiad or chilispiel or similar every weekend in the fall. Frito pie is the perfect dish when a blue norther has blown in and you're freezing your backside off. However, if you put beans in your chili, people are going to point and laugh at you. You can point out that the biggest staple carried around in the Old West was beans. You can mention that beans were eaten at every meal, including chili. I myself know that this makes perfect sense. However, there are many people who go apeshit if you speak these blasphemies in public. It's better to just not even mention it.
3. Never say anything disrespectful about the Alamo. People who see the Alamo for the first time are a bit derisive. It is, after all, tiny in comparison to the many skyscrapers that surround it, and it is hard for some people to believe that a great battle was fought there. The Alamo itself was, and still is, a church. Do not forget that. When you walk through those doors and hear the whispers of the dead, be respectful. There are many people in this state who are intolerant of disparaging comments regarding the shrine of the Alamo. Those people own guns.
4. Football is really the official religion of the state. Yes, the Baptists will get all riled up and the Lutherans will begin praying for my immortal soul, but they can't deny this. The sport of football springs into our imaginations from birth, a beacon of righteousness. The gridiron is a field of battle where all spiritual questions regarding fortitude and strength are answered. The football stadium is the church, and while attendance is mandatory, it is most definitely encouraged. High school football may be the only form of spiritual release for a small town. College football offers a broader view of the well-known truths, such as the lateral pass. The Dallas Cowboys Megachurch in Arlington specializing in healing; slow runners find wings when they are given the football, and all rejoice.
5. We are all about independence. As a state, we admire independence. We think highly of pioneers and trailblazers. We even tend to accept the eccentrics. We respect the rights of people to think for themselves. Independence is our thing. If you get here and decide that you don't want to wear cowboy boots to a rodeo, it's fine by us. Dye your head bright red! Wear argyle in the summer! If you decide that you really need a pickup truck, that is great. Have at it. Be your own person! Be independent! We love that.