Bigger than France

I’m in Dallas for a business event. I decided to drive up, rather than deal with airlines and security and all that hassle. Average travel time by air is 1 hour. Add in 1.5 hours at the airport, and a 3.5 hour drive starts to look pretty attractive.

A good way to get a feel for the size of Texas is to drive across it. A good way to get a feel for Dallas Fort Worth airport is to note that it’s larger than the whole of Manhattan island. Texas itself is bigger than France; they sell T-shirts that say so at the mall.

The journey up was mostly uneventful. There were plenty of pickups and SUVs weaving across lanes without signalling, but that’s normal for Texas. The most amusing incident was when I was passed by a pickup that had been painted in a desert camouflage yellow color. I noticed on the door that the driver had wanted to suggest his involvement in the first Iraq war: he had stuck on some vinyl letters that spelled out


Maybe my laughter was uncalled for; maybe he’s actually a pastry chef. I was tempted to try for a photo, but I’d have had to accelerate to about 80 mph to catch him, and then operate a camera with one hand while driving, and it just didn’t seem like a good enough reason to risk death.

One of the things I’d like to do if I were rich, is start a restaurant. I decided years ago that I’d have a Desert Menu. The items on the menu would all be named after actual deserts; the Gobi would be (say) green tea ice cream, the Keros would be baklava, the Great Victoria would be pavlova, the Karakum would be Turkish delight, the Chihuahuan would be flan, the Antarctica would be ice cream, and so on.