Texas isn't really a whole 'nother country, but it may seem so to visitors from other lands.
Chay Ly Cheng got to the Stock Show's International Suite shortly after opening this morning. The folks are there to welcome visitors from other countries and introduce them to ranching, Fort Worth-style.
He put a push pin on a large map showing his hometown, Melbourne, Australia, and pointed out which of the flags hanging on the wall is from down under.
Most international visitors come from Mexico or Canada, officials said. On Monday, they hosted guests from New Zealand, Canada, Russia and a group of eight from India. Last year, the office served 435 international guests from 58 nations. It varies; in 2003 there were 875 visitors from 62 countries.
His tour guide, Juan M. Hernandez, a 19-year veteran of the International Suite, explained that it is fashionable to wear boots to the rodeo and that boots, depending on the style and material, can be as expensive as $3,000 per pair.
Cheng said: "Wow, I'm sure they last a long time."
Right: Hernandez shows Cheng an authentic longhorn