Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Hat, Holster, Boots, Denim #becauseTexas
Dr.Pepper is claimed by Dublin, TX and Waco, TX - Soda as a claim to fame? #becauseTexas
(Glass bottles and sugar cane make it awesome.) Filed under "Maybe that's true" - According to Wikipedia "Each year, as many as 80,000 visitors flocked to Dublin, drawn to the antiquated bottling plant and its old-fashioned soda."  

Po-po on horseback in city park - #becauseTexas

When you first arrive to live life in a new culture (which doesn't, by any means, need to be a new country), everything stands out to you. Over time, as you sllllowwwly begin to assimilate, those oddities that grabbed your attention begin to diminish. Being new means noticing more.

Years back, early in our Haiti time, we were better about writing about those quirks and idiosyncrasies. (We wrote a short explanation post about it that is pasted in below.)

Now that we're sitting in Texas for a few months, we are truly enjoying a new culture of oddities. Because of that enjoyment, today we introduce a new series called #becauseTexas . Troy and I heckle our way around town trying to beat each other to the punch and point out all of the #becauseTexas peculiarities to one another. It could be said that we're TOO entertained by all of it. Laughing like a hyena feels good, so we don't care that we're obnoxious. I've posted just a few of them, our library of #becauseTexas posts has only just begun; there is an unending stream of awesome here --- #becauseTexas.

Stuff a dead snake? #becauseTexas

For posterity's sake:
FRIDAY, JUNE 6, 2008


Today we are formally introducing you to a very important part of our vocabulary here in Haiti.
T.I.H. stands for: This IHaiti. 

There are actions that go with this saying. In order to use T-I-H properly, you mustlift both shoulders up (a shrugging motion) and raise your eyebrows at the same time. It is all one fluid motion. 

Try it.  

Now try it while saying the letters – T I H.

Got it?

If you have seen the movie “Blood Diamond”, set in Africa, you might remember this saying as T.I.A. (This is Africa). It can apply anywhere really; if you live in a weird place where things happen just because it is locally accepted you might say, “T.I.S” (This is Small-townUSA)

We hail from ZimmermanMN where having a broken washing machine, and maybe an oven on your lawn is totally acceptable. When your friends visit and ask you about said washing machine, we would just shrug and say, “T.I.Z.” Actually, as long as you don’t live in TexasTennessee or Tulsa this works.
There is nothing derogatory about using TIH. It is simply a way of saying MANY things. If something happens for which there is no great explanation you might shrug and say “T-I-H” If nothing went as planned and cultural norms kicked your rear-end, you might throw your hands in the air and say “T-I-H!” If you’ve just been beat-down by the way things work here - and you’re aware of it - yet slightly annoyed; “T-I-H.”

Below are just a few “TIH” examples to help you fully understand.
Troy buys Coke, Pepsi, and Sprite by the case in glass bottles. This pop is all produced here in Haiti. It is pretty cheap but you must return the glass bottles when you go get a new case. We go through a ton of it when teams are here, and would probably be considered a high volume customer, if such a classification existed. There is a guy on our road about a half a mile from the mission that sells it. There is also a much bigger and more reliable place that sells it about three miles away. The man on the road that sells it is named Rudy. Troy and Rudy have a pretty decent working relationship. Rudy trusts Troy to bring the empties back and will sometimes give him a new case with just a verbal promise that the empties will be brought to him within a day or two. For quite some time now Rudy has not had Coke or Pepsi, only Sprite and Teem. Troy keeps telling him that he will need to go to the other vendor to get it. Rudy keeps saying, “It is coming tomorrow.” This game has gone on for a while. Tomorrow never comes. Finally, running out of patience, Troy goes to get Coke from the other vendor. We have to drive by Rudy to get home. Rudy is very upset that Troy went elsewhere. Rudy says, “I thought we were friends!” Because this is a cultural thing, where relationship matters more than a need for Coke, Troy broke a cultural rule. Rather than be annoyed with Rudy, Troy shrugs and says, “T-I-H” and we hope next time Rudy actually has Coke so that we can be friends again.
When we’re out and about and we see something that absolutely defies logic or safety, it gets the “T-I-H” stamp. Brief examples:
  • A Donkey carrying a very large Television
  • A motorcycle carrying one adult and five children
  • A man sleeping on the top of a bus as it barrels down the bumpy road at 50mph
  • A truck so loaded down with people the back bumper drags at times
  • Grocery stores without bread, meat, or cheese
We’ve learned that Gas stations don’t necessarily have gas. The name “gas” station is misleading. True. When the station is out of gas, Troy might ask them when they expect to have Diesel delivered. Their response never varies, “Demen si Dye vle” which translates, “tomorrow if God wants”. Rather than be annoyed at that response that means something all at the same time that it means nothing … you just give it a good old, “T-I-H!”

Now you are in the club. Keep practicing the motion along with speaking the letters,  put your own hometown spin on it … and enjoy!


kadeshcolorado said...

Contrary to what most Americans (and the world at large) may believe, Texas is indeed a different country. Welcome back. Enjoy our pure cane Dr Pepper and remember that the taco is suitable for every meal (second breakfast and elvensies included).


geekgirlsc said...

Mmm second breakfast.

I love your explanation as to why you are not calling your series This Is Texas.

Allan Hicks is my husband's cousin. I hope this leads to my meeting you guys IRL some day.


Kit said...

Oh. My. Lord. You KNOW I am all over this. We have only lived here a little over a year, but I have amassed a GREAT collection of things. Here are some recent ones:
A drive-thru window for your cigarettes and dip. #becauseTexas
Wine-ritas TO GO! With a tiny sticker over the straw hole. Because that would totally keep you from drinking and driving. #becauseTexas
A headline from our daily paper that reads, "Taco theft under investigation". I am not even kidding. It was ONE breakfast taco; does that make it more serious?
T-shirts that use the F bomb to say that the wearer is from Texas. Can you even IMAGINE another state doing such a thing? F-yeah, I'm from Nebraska...what the?
Oh, that was fun. Keep writing these, it really helps. I'm can't share them all on FB or the blog because I'm sure to offend. Whheeeeeee!

T & T Livesay said...

Kit -
Those are great! SO great, especially that taco theft. Don't mess with Texas' tacos!!! The key to being less offensive is to be able to take teasing back and to laugh at yourself -- we all have our own cultural goofy stuff - and it is all pretty entertaining :) I would venture to guess that you laugh at yourself too!

NLS 1993 said...

The neighbor boy is named Bubba


LOVE this. Also, I hope to get to see you while you're here. xo

NLS 1993 said...

That's me, Heather King, who is also NLS 1993 because Blogger hates me.

Kit said...

Tara, you're right about being able to laugh at ourselves. We need to remember that...Bostonians have plenty of ridiculous things to laugh about, too...addiction to Dunkin' Donuts, terribly aggressive driving, , weird accents, impossibly twisty roads.
So appreciate your perspective; I truly need the reminder to keep myself from getting bitter. Lord have mercy! :)

Jodi said...

Random - my grandma has a taxidermied rattlesnake in her sunroom. Why? Because she used to go rattlesnake hunting. In Texas. It's a thing.

Becky said...

I worte this post after living on the East side of Oregon for a year and half. We moved there from the Pacific Northwest. Major culture and climate shock! It's not Haiti to Texas, but this is our version of #becauseTexas.

Jamie Ivey said...

I'm loving this #becauseTexas stuff!

sweetly broken said...

Identifying with you! We are a pastor's/missionary family living in Nassau, Bahamas. (I think you will understand that we are not on permanent vacation here.)Contrary to what most Americans believe, The Bahamas is very much its own country and NOT a made-for-tourists cruise port. I may adopt your TIH idea for life here. So much to put under that category! No gas at the gas station...totally get it. Roadside Rastas, the unspoken language of beeping horns which could mean, "Go" or "Watch out I'm passing" or "MOVE IT!" or "HI!" It's all TIB. Grace to you...Kristin Bunting