Welcome to Atlanta

9Aug2013

I’m in love with the pillars of Phillips Arena, and couldn’t resist taking a picture from CNN Decks after my first day of work.

After seven days of living in Atlanta, I’ve learned a few things about this town. Number one, it’s certainly not like Philadelphia. Or Colorado. Or London. Or Houston. Or anywhere else I’ve ever lived. I knew it’d be hot. I knew it’d be humid. I knew people believing it’s called a “hoagie” would cease to exist. But there were some things I just never saw coming.

1. People do not creep up in the left turn lane.
I knew drivers in the northeast aren’t exactly the calmest or most patient. So the first time someone let me merge or change lanes without hassle, I was pleasantly surprised. But I was floored that even with a green light in the left hand turn lane, Georgia drivers will sit at the white line until they have enough room to turn. Let’s inch it up here, people.

2. Fried gator bites really exist.
At our welcome lunch, the staff took us to Six Feet Under, a seafood restaurant in midtown Atlanta. They marveled at our lack of Southern cuisine experience, and ordered us hush puppies and fried alligator bites. The funny part? I never thought I’d hear myself say “Well, tastes just like chicken.”

3. They don’t call it Hotlanta for nothing.
Seriously, it’s no joke. Disgustingly hot and humid. And I’ve lived in Houston. Trust me, I know hot and humid. And this comes pretty close to Texas.

4. Don’t underestimate the Southern hospitality.
People like to wave, people like to talk. Everyone likes to wave, everyone likes to talk. From the police to the ushers to the security guards to the cashiers, everyone is super friendly, conversational, and willing to go out of their way to help. The Philly Nod, you know, that gesture you make so you don’t have to really ever interact with another human being on the streets of Philadelphia? Nonexistent here.

Georgia might be a little different than I’m used to, they might not use the appropriate terms for things (ahem, it’s a hoagie, people), but they still have Tastykakes, so at least we’ve got some common ground. I’m certainly looking forward to learning more about this place and seeing what else is in store over the next year! Just don’t expect me to start doing a Tomahawk Chop or cheering for the Falcons!

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