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My Dad and stepmom are moving to Atlanta! Yay! They’ll actually be close enough for holiday visits and stuff, as opposed to flying out every couple of years to Phoenix. I will admittedly miss the excuse to visit AZ, which is one of my favorite places, but I’ll stoked that they’ll be within driving distance!

I have been trying to think of the things you warn non-Southerners about when moving to the South. All I’ve got is “Do you know what the humidity is like?” and “Okra is a cruel trap perpetrated on the unsuspecting.” Since I only know Atlanta in passing, I’m not sure what to warn them about there…granted they’re from Maricopa County, the politics can’t be much more reactionary…

Originally published at Tea with the Squash God. You can comment here or there.

Though it seems counter-intuitive, "bless your heart" is not something you want people to say to or about you in conversation.

...you will like Atlanta, though, when you go visit. The Aquarium has whale sharks!

Southern lady who trained me in HP ServiceCenter said "bless your heart" to me a bunch of times. Later learned from a friend that it's usually suffixed with "You can't help yourself."

The humidity and tornadoes are downers, but...

The peaches! Oh god, the fresh ripe peaches!

If anyone says anything remotely like, "Hey y'all, watch this!", immediately remove yourself from the speaker's vicinity.

Oh, and kudzu. Seriously, watch out for the kudzu.

A beetle has recently appeared in the US that eats kudzu!

Unfortunately, it also eats soybeans.

Re: Eats soybeans (Anonymous) Expand
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Oh good grief. Meet me at the intersection of Peach Tree Grove with Peach Grove Drive.... navigation is a TERROR.

Traffic. Rush-hour traffic.

And, I rather like okra. Especially battered and fried. Mmmm.

Okra -- the food that makes it's own mucus.

The traffic in Atlanta is atrocious. And every other street, building, park, etc has "Peachtree" in the name.

As a transplanted Yankee myself, it's the food ways that got me when I first arrived.
If you want tea, ask for "hot tea."
If you want iced tea, ask for "unsweet tea."
If you want sweet iced tea, ask for "unsweet tea and some sugar," and mix to taste.
If you want syrup, ask for "tea."

Sweet tea is the nectar of the gods!

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Every Labor Day weekend, part of downtown Atlanta gets overrun with a massive sci-fi and fantasy convention. It's a good time to either avoid said downtown or go down there to play.

That's also the weekend of the incredibly massive Decatur Book Festival, where Ursula would be most welcome as a guest author (your agent probably knows all about it). It is not unheard of for authors to put in appearances at both events, either as guests or attendees.

Oooh.. Yeah.. Okra is one of those foods that some supertasters can taste the nasty part of and most folks can't. It is also really REALLY easy to make BAD okra, and really REALLY hard to make GOOD okra..

... me, I'm convinced that nobody actually eats it, they just wait to see if they can get someone to eat it. If that works, then they hand them the pig's feet or squid eyeballs...

I live about 30 mins east of Atlanta on I85. The 'burbs aren't too bad. In town, however, the crime is rather bad, and the traffic is absolutely horrible. Some study once rated Atlanta among the Top 10 Worst Cities in the World in terms of traffic.

If you can tell me what area of Metro Atlanta they're planning on, I could tell you a little more.

My favorite Uncle lives in Norcross, and I've spent so much time down there because of that I consider Atlanta to be a second home town to me. n_n

If you live by a large church, be prepared for traffic headaches every sunday and sometimes wednesday nights.

If you see a truck pulled off the side of the road selling peaches, BUY THOSE PEACHES. They will be the best peaches ever.

Sometimes dogs and cats are owned more by a neighborhood than an individual. Leash laws and fencing happen sometimes.

The reaction to anything of note happening is hug/food/pray.

The person in line next to you at walmart/bank/post office/etc may tell you their entire life story while in line.

On the hug/food/pray thing, yeah, I can attest to that.. When my mother passed, her side of the family gifted us with no fewer than *eleven* casseroles. I think word had never got around that dad did all the cooking...

Edited at 2012-01-27 03:44 am (UTC)

When I was in Atlanta (downtownish, for a conference) I was horrified by
1. the state of the sidewalks (broken ground, good luck navigating)
2. the racial divide (it was much more pronounced than Chicago, which is pretty bad)
3. the traffic (if you want to enter or leave or pass through the city at any point between dawn and late evening... I hope you like audiobooks and wasting gas) :(

You might want to soften that before you pass it on.

And congrats on having family nearby!!! It is wonderful! :)

Not a warning, really, but I highly recommend they look into The Shakespeare Theater for some good times.

Do you mean the New American Shakespeare Tavern, or something different? If it's something different, I can also recommend the Tavern for good theater.

observations from living in NC since I was 14:

people assume everyone is christian, unless they look foreign. but they probably assume you're the wrong type of christian, because they still try to get you into their church.

people feel free to refer to you by pet names immediately. I am frequently 'hun' to people whose name I don't even know.

not sure if this holds true in atlanta, but people walk SLOW.

as the tea issue has already been covered, I will point out that apparently in georgia, all soft drinks are 'coke'. so if you order a coke, they'll ask what kind.

Oh yes, the coke thing! Many times at restaurants have I heard: "what kind of coke would you like?"

Haha, everyone is 'honey' to my mom. I used to think it was so weird but I catch myself doing it now. XD