In El Paso and at Albertsons, a chain grocery story, I could observe shopping in American way. Well, it's not specific to El Paso but for the USA, maybe except well heard Spanish language used by American Mexicans (or immigrants from other countries of Latin America) doing shopping that is common in the Southwest. Hispanic or Latino of any race are over 75% of the El Paso population! Once I had an impression that it's easier to communicate in Spanish than in English in El Paso.
Shopping for those who don't work (some $$$ and time needed :-):
1. Looking for discounts for basic food and others in the morning (advertisements in local daily newspaper, TV, radio)
2. Driving a large pick-up truck or similar "monster" sometimes many miles to catch the discount
3. Buying exclusively food on discount (sometimes 50-80% less expensive, usually some 10-30%)
4. They usually pay using local cards issued by a chain supermarket. It gives some additional discount (1-5%) for many or all products including sometimes a little bit lower price for gas at gas station located by a discount store
5. They have people who pack their shoppings into bags at cashier (great for single costumers!). It's very rare in Poland and happens in some supermarkets exclusively before Christmas where people buy more than during the next 11 months, I think.
For those who work:
1. No daily shopping
2. Internet shopping or/and call for food
3. Weekend shopping.
Numerous buildings of historic downtown El Paso have typical fire escape, a special kind of emergency exit, usually mounted to the outside of a building. Well, it's a local custom not specific for El Paso, but for American high rise residential buildings constructed at the end of the 19th century and even more in the first half of 20th century. But I have never seen so many buildings equipped in fire escapes as in downtown El Paso. Apart from that I have almost never seen fire escapes in Poland. I guess, many fires in El Paso have forced architects of residential buildings to add fire escape to their designs. A patent for a fire escape in the USA was first registered in 1887. Or
A typical fire escape of El Paso consists of a number of horizontal platforms (usually steel gratings), one at each story of a building, with ladders or stairs connecting them. The ladder from the lowest level of the fire escape to the ground may be fixed, but more commonly it swings down on a hinge or slides down along a track. The moveable designs allow occupants to safely reach the ground in the event of a fire but prevent persons from accessing the fire escape from the ground at other times, such as in the middle of the night to perpetrate a burglary or vandalism.
Fort Bliss, which became a major Army base back in the days of Pancho Villa, dominates Northeast El Paso. After border traffic (and possibly boots), the fort represents the primary industry in the city. So don't make fun of soldiers while you're there.
You might remember Fort Bliss as being the home base of many of the POW's in the latest Iraq war. You can be fairly certain that there weren't many peace protests in El Paso.
A lot of guidebooks mention that anyone with an 'Anglo-enough looking face' will have no trouble at US-Mexico border crossings. DO NOT take this to mean you can leave identification behind or make repeated crossings. Standing in a line of 200 Mexicans, waiting to get back to the USA, guess who they singled out and questioned? Yup, the young, single and scruffy looking gringo. Bring ID and answer their questions as directly and succinctly as possible.
although el paso is in texas,you may feel that you are in mexico,for a big majority of the people come from the other side of rio grande(rio bravo)