The following is a Google chat conversation with my wife while driving to New Orleans. A larger story on Houston will follow.  

A-dawg: sup

B-unit: Not much, on our way to New Orleans.

B-unit: Aman and I just stopped to take some pictures of the cotton growing you mentioned before leaving:

A-dawg: those are great!

A-dawg: so do you miss Houston already?

B-unit: family and friends, yes. The place, not so much.

A-dawg: what’s wrong with Houston?

B-unit: I duno, it’s never been encouraging.

B-unit: there is nothing to do here.

B-unit: last year, when we did the trip – we visited the community i grew up in, which was great.

B-unit: http://30mosques.com/archive2010/2010/08/day-11-texas-synott-mosque-in-houston

A-dawg: yea, I read it.

A-dawg: we were supposed to meet up that day..

B-unit: haha I remember that. There just wasn’t enough time.

A-dawg: there never is. You are always on the run. m

A-dawg: is that why you like NYC better?

B-unit: It’s not that i like it better. it just feels like there is no sense of urgency here.

B-unit: and people just were never very encouraging here.

A-dawg: what do you mean?

B-unit: like last year, before we embarked on the 30 Mosques trip, i came to visit my parents (and you)  when i told some people what i was doing. They just couldn’t understand why.

B-unit: they wondered if the project is profitable..

A-dawg: yeah, but i gave you a hard time too when we met.

A-dawg: that was a nice meeting

B-unit: ha yeah, i bought that big book from pakistan and a collection of photos i took in pakistan.

B-unit: hoping to impress you. haha

A-dawg: lol

A-dawg: but anyway –  i don’t know why the lack of urgency is a bad thing

A-dawg: i think people do a good job here of soaking it all in.

B-unit: what does that even mean?

A-dawg: iftar parties last into the night. things may move slower but maybe it’s because people here are taking time to enjoy the things that matter to the

A-dawg: like being around family and friends

B-unit: yeah, good point. People in new york never stop for one another. Everything is work, work, work.

B-unit: here’s what I think of Houston:

A-dawg: yikes thats rough.

A-dawg: here’s what I think:

B-unit: riveting..?

A-dawg: lol but there is heart here. In the strip malls and large winding freeways. nyc may have more history but it just doesn’t have the kindness and big hearted

B-unit: mehhh check out this gif i just made.

A-dawg: what? whos that?

B-unit: some uncle that was screaming at the pakistani independence day flag raising i went to. i was hoping there would be singing and dancing. but there really wasn’t much happening.

A-dawg:hm ok. i dont know if it’s doing anything for me.

B-unit: here is a picture of the event:

A-dawg: did you stay for the flag raising?

B-unit: couldn’t. they were taking too long.

B-unit: plus your family was coming over to break fast with mine. I had to get ready and stuff.

A-dawg: oh yeah, thats why you couldnt make it to the mosque.

B-unit: yea… i didnt want to disrespect your family or even mine.

B-unit: my mother cooked so much.

A-dawg: lol. she did.

A-dawg: so are you worried that you didnt get a chance to break fast at a mosque?

B-unit: I was a little bit in the beginning. but we needed a pitstop. It’s sad that it’s houston thats the pit stop. but i’ll figure out how to talk about the comunity.

B-unit: btw i really liked this man’s mustache. i think this is my next stab at it.

A-dawg: lol

B-unit: so are you back to work today?

A-dawg: yeah, back in the office.

B-unit: better than being out in this crazy heat.

A-dawg: lol. again hating on houston.

A-dawg: I guess i’ll never understand what your problem with houston is.

B-unit: ….

B-unit:  

A-dawg: there’s just no getting to you..

B-unit: but you know. houston is still home for me.

A-dawg: really?

A-dawg: you have like disowned this place

B-unit: no i havent

A-dawg: alright. other then your family being here. what makes this home?

B-unit: because this is where we met.

B-unit: the debate tournaments, borders bookstore.

A-dawg: har har.

B-unit: lol, im being serious. i dont know if we’ll be here in the future, but for a starting place i dont think i know a prouder place to mention where it all began when sharing our story.

A-dawg: :)