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A wha so El Paso - Title of a Jamaican Dancehall Song


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El Paso shares a special place in the psyche of Jamaicans of my generation and the one immediately preceding it due to Marty Robbins song. Kind of funny but El Paso, the song, was quite popular in Jamaica and was in the jukebox at mom's bar for over 7 years. 

Well for the first time in my life I visited the city with my sister. The reason for the visit was both vacation and to do my niece and her husband, a NCO, a favor. He gets transferred to Washington State later this year, and they took the opportunity to do a week of house hunting as well as surveying the general lay of the land up there, unencumbered by their three kids (a teen, tween and toddler). We spent a total of twelve days there, house and kid sitting, as well as getting around the city. 

I found the place to be very different from Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio, cities I had visited in the past on business. In fact, in many respects it reminded me of Orlando, Florida when I moved there 28 years ago in the sense that it struck me as a rapidly growing city which was being transformed by its growth. The arid conditions of the place did not bother me as I had always liked my summer visits to Arizona for training in the past. 

Despite the heavy military presence due to Fort Bliss being there, the demographics of the place were decidedly Mexican! I would estimate that a number north of 75% of the individuals in the streets were of Mexican heritage. Whites and blacks were both a distinct minority. I found the city to be clean, livable, and surprisingly cultural and was quite impressed with their Art museum. I also found the locals to be warm and welcoming and was impressed by the civility of the drivers who would stop for pedestrians regardless of whether they were obligated to or not. When my wife retires in four years, should we decide to stay in the USA, I would certainly consider relocating there if I could convince her to do so.   

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