Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Greetings from Atlanta!

At the risk of repeating myself, “Greetings from Atlanta!” This post will be nothing more than a postcard of sorts to let y’all know that Eddie, Melanie, and I are doing just fine. We’re settled in, we’re safe, we’re healthy, we’re happy. In order to get this message to you (and to do some other highly important things), I’m relying on my philosophy department computer lab (correction—philosophy graduate student computer lab … I’m in the big leagues now!). My home Internet service won’t be active until this weekend, at the very earliest. But once I’m all setup at home, I’ll post much more regularly. Honest.

In the meantime, here are some of my first observations of, as the hip people call it, ATL:

1. The water tastes fine here. Not that I heard it didn’t, but you know how different water can taste from state to state. Earlier this year I experienced the rancid taste of Arkansian water, and given its greater geographical proximity to Georgia, I was a bit worried that Atlanta water would taste just as nasty. But, I’m very pleased to say, our Georgian water has no noticeable taste to it at all—which is just the way I like it.

2. Georgians are quite friendly. At least when it comes to those persons working in the customer service industry. I’ve yet to chat it up with strangers, but when I’ve been dealing with people on a professional level (whether bankers or fast-food employees), I’ve found them to be extremely pleasant. Utah may have a reputation for churning out super-congenial personalities (think Osmonds), but Georgia has quickly charmed me.

3. Georgians love their chicken and waffles. I’ve never seen so many varieties of fast-food fried chicken. Church’s Chicken, Popeye’s Chicken, Mrs. Winner’s Chicken, as well as the more nationally recognized KFC (which, believe it or not, made its debut in my hometown of Salt Lake City). And there are others I can’t even remember. Almost equally as prevalent is the number of waffle houses. Foremost among these is, coincidentally enough, Waffle House, a restaurant chain whose myriad locations outnumber Georgians at a ratio of about 3:1. Atlanta even features restaurants that specialize in both chicken and waffles. So, if you get a hankering for either (or, better yet, for both) these foods, just let me know and I’ll setup my guest room. Of course I won’t give you my address, but you’ll be in my thoughts nevertheless.

4. Atlanta is not nearly as intimidating a city as I had expected. Coming from Utah, I expected Atlanta to feel threatening on many levels. I expected to feel overwhelmed by the traffic, by the crime, and by the sheer magnitude of the city. So far I have not felt any of those things. While the downtown traffic (including the most central parts of the Interstates) is undeniably tedious, it somehow manages to keep itself moving. It slows down—way down—but I’ve never seen it altogether stopped. That’s something. And if you stick to the belt route, traffic is even more tolerable. Whenever I’ve needed to, I’ve been able to go from one side of the city to the other within 25-35 minutes. I wouldn’t have expected such. Downtown Atlanta also houses the city’s most seedy-looking areas, but I’ve yet to run into a neighborhood that fills my heart with anxiety, much less terror. Now, I realize I’ve come to these conclusions rather quickly, and I’ve yet to try anything adventurous enough to really prove myself wrong. Yet the fact remains that I feel much more at ease here than I would have expected. And I wager I’ll only feel more and more at home as time goes on.

So there you have it. Those are my most immediate and initial impressions. There’s plenty more I can write about, but don’t expect anything before next week. I promise I’ll write then. In the meantime, thanks for checking in…


  1. I wish you the best on your graduate endeavors, Benny K. Woohooo! You're in Hotlanta!

  2. Glad you made it and seem to be having a good time. And glad you posted again . . .

  3. I am glad to hear you guys are alive. Thanks for visiting my blog. I would be honored to have you put a link to my blog on your blog. I'm excited to hear about life for you guys in Atlanta.