Oklahoma can be one of the most, beautiful, dull, friendly or backward of places, depending on your point of view (and what you want out of a place, like most places really).

I've been through certain stages since I moved here a year ago from the UK: At first I was just blown away, rubbernecking all over the place. I'd never seen light so golden during the early morning and evening (the song in the musical "Oklahoma" being absolutely correct). The land, unbelievably flat to one used to the rolling English Countryside, seemed at first awe-inspiringly vast.

After a while though it got painful on the eyes, and I began seeing it more as a grassy desert, endless featureless and blank for mile upon mile, with the odd exception, (the tiny Arbuckle Mountains for example, a brief break in the monotony on the drive down I-35 from Oklahoma City to Dallas).

But in the end, as I grew accustomed to actually living in this state, I began to realise that it's not all bad. It's flat as a place can be without being polished, not recommended for agoraphobics and the horizon can seem distant, but the sky is so immensely huge and bright, the sunsets so apocalyptically gorgeous I have to admit I'm falling for it again.

It was the same with the people here. When I first turned up I was welcomed with typical Southern hospitality (I know it's not technically "The South" but as a foreigner it's damn hard to tell) and practically everywhere I turned was someone commenting on my "lovely" accent or trying to feed me cow-meat of some description. Wonderful!

Then I heard about some of the simply stupid laws here, the fact that guns are owned and used by a huge number of people, hunting is practiced with bloodthirsty fervour and that cock-fighting, something most Europeans bar perhaps the Spanish, regard as barbaric and evil, is still legal here. Suddenly I was amongst savages in a society I simply couldn't understand.

Later it was explained to me that the people who settled this place were still hunting their food into the last century. In my European arrogance I'd forgotten that we'd had plumbing since the Romans, and that these people who look as European as I do probably had great-grand-parents who'd lived a far rougher, tougher lifestyle than mine, producing a far rougher culture than the one I was used to.

Even later still I realised that most people my age or less here don't approve of the guns/hunting/cock-fighting either and that given time this, frankly, infant society will reform and adapt.

And still they're a generally friendlier, warmer people than any population I know of in America or Europe, (especially in the UK)...