1. First, it’s pronounced AWS-TUN. It doesn’t matter how they say it in
other places.

2. Forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere. Austin has its own
set of traffic rules. There’s no book about them. All you can do is get
in your car and hope you survive to learn them.

3. All directions start with “Go down Mopac…’cause you don’t want to
get on 35.”

4. Burnet, Braker, and Lamar have no beginning and no end.

5. It is impossible to go around a block and wind up on the same street
that you started on. The Chamber of Commerce calls this a “scenic

6. The 8:00 a.m. rush hour is from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. The 5:00 p.m. rush hours
is from 3:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. Friday’s rush hour starts on Thursday morning.

7. If you actually stop at a yellow light, then you cannot be from
Austin. You may only apply your brakes when the end of a yellow light
and the beginning of the red light create a “burnt-orange” hue.

8. If you like being an individual, don’t even think of working for
Dell. You’ll be branded like a cattle and made to walk all over town
with your “Dell tag” around your neck or clipped on to your belt loop.
98% of the people within a 200 mile radius work for Dell. When someone
says “Michael Dell”, Dell employees are trained to face Round Rock, hit
their knees, put their face to the ground, weep, and rock back and

9. Just remember that Mopac IS Loop 1; Capital of Texas Hwy IS 360; and
183 IS Research, Anderson, Ed Bluestein, and Old Bastrop Hwy; 2222
(pronounced =93twenty-two, twenty-two=94) IS Northland or Allendale or Koenig.
Don’t try to figure it out. Just accept it. If you question the intelligence
behind this naming convention, people will simply tilt their heads to the
right and stare at you.

10. If moisture is determined to be rain, not sweat, all traffic must
immediately cease. Ditto for daylight savings time, girl applying
eye-shadow across the street, or a flat tire 3 lanes over.

11. DO NOT attempt to access any road after an apocalyptic event like
snow or SXSW (South by Southwest Music Convention). Construction on I-35
is a way of life, and a permanent form of entertainment. Get used to it!

12. Attn: All telephone solicitors. DO NOT correct my pronunciation when
I say I live in Manchaca, TX. It’s pronounced MAN shack (just like a man
living in shack). Also realize that the city of MANshack is in Hays and
Travis Counties and there is also a very long street in Austin named

13. Burnet Road is pronounced BURN-it, not Bur-NET. Koenig Lane is
pronounced KAE-nig, not KOE-nig. The old airport (Robert Mueller) is
pronounced Robert Miller and is on Airport Boulevard. The new airport
(Austin Bergstrom) is no where near Airport Boulevard. It’s in the city
of Del Valle pronounced Del Valley!!

14. Keep in mind that the sloppily dressed “hippie” in sandals and
earrings is probably the latest IPO millionaire around here.

15. Stay away from the Congress Bridge at sundown if you do not like the
thought of being in an Alfred Hitchcock movie. (Largest Mexican Free
Tail Bat Population in the U.S.)

16. And, yes, we all know that’s a man in a thong teddy and a tiara on
Congress. It’s Leslie, and he probably makes more money than you do.
(Surely you have a homeless celebrity drag queen where you live, too.

One comment on “Rules for Living in Austin

  • again, AWESOME. i forwarded this on to my friends who just moved here from raleigh. she keeps calling Mopac “The Mopac” and my other friends have FINALLY figured out it’s not highway 1. hahaha 🙂

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