Atlanta, Georgia - Is Southern Hospitality really a Myth?
We didnt find a home in Atlanta. I'll tell you that right now.
But we did have an amazing day. We met so many fascinating people.
It was a fast approach day. That means once we get someone to consent to an interview we tell them what we are doing and ask them if they can help us. Then if they are friendly and up for it we follow up by asking all the usual questions.
Everyone had a pretty cynical understanding of trust - we met only a few who seemed to think the world was going to be okay. Jim, a stranger who invited us to see his show at a "creepy David Lynch, Rob zombie bar" with "cheap, strong drinks" and probably would have offered us his floor if he wasn't crashing with a friend himself, said "When you can trust someone, that's when you are truly alive, when you can trust the world. When you can't, you start dying."
"Is the rest of the country trusting?"
"No, not really."
"So do you think we're all dying?"
"A little bit. A little bit."
He said the Southern Hospitality was just a nice way of saying back handed. "Where I come from we shoot people between the eyes, in Atlanta, in the south, they shoot em in the back."
Another man suggested that maybe the hospitality becomes innate. That kindness is habitual even when you don't like somebody. So that makes it seem like a facade, but its not.
But everyone agreed that people in the south are somehow different. I don't know that I felt that really - maybe in the thank yous I got from holding open the door for someone or in the courtesy with which people declined an interview. But that didnt feel all that different from Ohio, except for the drawl.
We met so many friendly people - Atlanta is a beautiful city and I never felt put out, I was never treated rudely - but we ended up without a home.