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April 21, 2000

Southern Fried Observations

* "Iced Tea" means "Sweet Tea", even from the McDonald's Drive Thru.
* Hardee's now has the Carl's Jr. Star logo.
* Slower traffic moves to the right lane as you come up behind them in the left lane.
* Traffic jams span 1 - 2 miles and last 10 - 15 minutes, max.
* It is a pleasure to drink clean, delicious tap water.
* There's superior local TV news but very few radio stations.
* You pay for your tank of gas after filling up.
* Bank of America has now bought up NationsBank / C&S.
* 430 miles of driving yields: cows. Lots and lots of cows.
* Doctors' waiting rooms include magazines AND the Bible.
* Yes, Ma'am. No, Ma'am. Period. You respect your elders!
* Time stands still in Athens. The exact same teenagers in the exact same outfits are in the exact same locations as when I was there in 1988, 1992, 1995, and 1998. I guess that's why you feel as if you never age when you're in a college town. Since the town repopulates itself w/ a new crop of kids each year, it always seems as if you're staying the same too. Amazing.
* Drinks cost NOTHING compared to the prices I've become accustomed to. An expensive draft cider cost me $2.50. That's 16 ounces, mind you.
* People are very trusting. I saw a woman come out of a SunTrust bank w/ bags of money, balancing them on her hip as she fumbled w/ her car keys.
* There's no bulletproof gas in post offices, banks, or at fast food restaurants.
* No homeless folks beg for money at the ATMs.
* Strangers will give you a hug if you ask for one. Okay, let me qualify that... I had had an exhausting trip to Atlanta. I'd been bumped from flights, pulled off flights upon which I'd already been seated, detoured through several states, and sat on the tarmac in Delta's birthplace - Monroe, LA - for an hour. And then they'd lost my luggage. So, here I am in the Delta Baggage Service Center, fighting back the tears from a combination of frustration and exhaustion. The woman behind the counter asks what's wrong and I wail, "I need a hug!" The woman next to me, also in search of lost luggage, reaches out and says, "Come here, Sugar, I'll give you a hug!" I started bawling. Now, I'm not saying you COULDN'T get a hug from a stranger in Los Angeles. I just don't know that you'd want one.
* My mother is beautiful. My step-father is protective. My father is talented. My step-mother is creative. My brothers are supportive. My cousin is nurturing. My friends are faithful. And everyone, EVERYONE, makes me feel like I've already "made it." No matter what California feels like after 16 months of enduring an ego-bruising profession, HOME feels like HOME. And I have no doubt, having been back there, that I am exactly where I am meant to be. And that I've accomplished far more than I'd realized.

Posted by bonnie at April 21, 2000 7:36 AM