Coming to America 5


My New Friend, Earl.
Moving to Dallas was a piece of cake. My new apartment was arranged through the hospital. I sold my car for the first month’s rent and security deposit. After all, I really didn’t need a car anyway as a city the size of Dallas would surely have a super mass transit system a la Toronto, New York, London or Paris. A friend’s Dad offered to drive me to Dallas and off we went.

My new furnished apartment was perfect and located about seven or eight miles from the hospital. Knowing that it would take me a while to get used to the transit system, I called a cab to take me to the grocery store. Dallas was kinda 'spread out' and the nearest grocery store was about three miles away. I had expected neighborhood markets. Oh well. There was a 7-eleven within walking distance.

About one and one-half hours later, the cab arrived. Apparently, cabs were not plentiful in Dallas and according to my gravel-voiced cowboy-hatted cab driver, and new best friend, Earl, “everybody has a car here”. When I asked about Dallas’ transit system, Earl snickered and in heavy southern drawl answered “Ayyy what?” It turns out that Dallas didn’t have a real transit system. It was rudimentary and unreliable, virtually non-existent. I was crushed, broke and car-less. I made a deal with Earl to come back and pick me up from the grocery store in an hour. He did.

Sitting in my new apartment, feeling sorry for myself and without a friend in the world (except for Earl), I started questioning my decision-making abilities. Why did I sell my car when I didn’t know that I would need one in Dallas? Why did I choose a city where I didn’t know a soul? Would I have enough money to last me until I get my first paycheck?

I recall my Fort Smith friends telling me how ‘brave’ I was for moving to Dallas, alone. I realized now that ‘bravery’ didn't have a lot to do with it but that ‘stupidity’ surely did. I was miserable. Part 6: Twist of Fate

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