Saturday, October 25, 2014

chto deliot (what to do?)

Lubbock is the most boring city in the world, agreed my Turkish student, who is from Istanbul, one of the busiest most historic cities in the world, full of ancient Turkish art and museums, and the loot from the Ottoman Empire, and all the previous empires back to when it was Constantinople. No, of course Lubbock is not Istanbul, it's only been around for a few years, and besides, it was a cowboy's town, never spent any time fixing up the facades and making it appear like some fancy European capital. In fact it's kind of the opposite of that, it prefers to have no pretense whatsoever, and it took them years to even allow for any public art, or pretty carvings on bridges or murals or anything. Just wouldn't pay for it. it has wide avenues, so that when the sun is shining, which is most of the time, you couldn't see most of that stuff anyway. It's only when the sun goes down that you can even see any of the rest of it.

It actually does ok with parks and such, lots of city parks and pools and open areas where people can enjoy real grass and walk around in the open with the nice cool breeze blowing, blue sky, freshness and lots of kids and dogs everywhere. Lately the police have been swooping down on these parks and giving people with unleashed dogs these enormous $200 tickets but I suppose if these people can really control their dogs as well as they say they can, they should just tell the dog to get lost, of course it can outrun the policeman, while they maintain firmly that the dog doesn't belong to them, it's just a stray dog that happens to follow their orders. It's easier to say that a dog that has run away is not yours, since they can't catch him and read his collar anyway, than to maintain that some dog which is in your arms but not on a leash, is actually fairly easily controlled in spite of the law, and the various prejudices the police carry around with respect to them, as if they poop everywhere, and bite kids' faces, and attack other dogs. This is a current dispute in Tech Terrace Park, where they swoop down regularly, and all kinds of people are bit with fairly stiff tickets. We runners and walkers occasionally step in warm, squishy piles left right by the sidewalk there, not picked up even though someone has gone to the trouble to provide them with free plastic sacks.

It's not boring if you know everyone, and have some idea how much fun people really have, mostly by going out to the mountains, or over to the sea, or out to California or Florida in their free time, with their cotton money or their oil money. They are actually aggressively, assertively fun-loving, and don't mind extremes of weather, or the oppressive traffic of the city, or the fact that a few hundred new houses are going up every month. This is a city expanding,

to the people who live here, it's beautiful, because they can drive around, and they know everyone, like they know somebody who has a pool, and someone who happens to have a boat or some kind of cool thing like a truck to go out and spin mod and have really good time. this kind of person objects when some survey done by a couple of yankees who never set foot in the place, really rubs them wrong, and they don't feel like they should have to explain why we don't have all this neon and clubs and the kind of dazzling stuff you see all over the big cities. Yeah, sure, it is what it is, with a lot of churches, and it has a lot of fast food restaurants, and it comes up first on these dudes' list, and in fact we who live here day in and day out do ok, it's really friendly and besides, who needs a whole city full of facades? This place doesn't have a pretentious bone in its body.

No comments:

Post a Comment