I won’t lie, I’ve always mocked the South a little. I mean, they share pleasant conversation with strangers before having their morning coffee. What is up with that?
But after traveling to Georgia last week for work, I suppose I’ve underestimated it a bit. Three of my co-workers and I were down there doing a software training at Houston Hospital in Warner Robins, GA.
Flying in a plane is one of the best parts of traveling. You know how people get thrills from rollercoasters? Well, I get my thrill from sitting in a window seat on an airplane. Plus, I get this view of my beautiful Boston:
Delta’s lightly salted peanuts were probably the highlight of the flight. See my unconstrained enthusiasm:
Anyway, we flew into Atlanta and drove two hours to Warner Robins – a town full of every chain restaurant you can possibly think of. So unfortunately we didn’t get to experience local southern comfort cooking. But there was Logan’s Roadhouse, a divey bar right next to our hotel. It was the kind that serves peanuts in buckets on the bar, and you throw the shells on the floor.
The first night there, we met three guys from Alabama who were also in GA for work. After telling them we were from Boston, one of them (who looked a lot like Papelbon!) told us that he used to be in the Navy and was stationed in Boston for awhile.
We talked with them about the Red Sox, football, good country music, and New England vs. the South. We told them how friendly everyone is down south. They were astounded by the fact that we don’t strike up conversation with random strangers. They also told us that they know someone from New York, and he is the biggest jerk they know. I told them that is not surprising, because unlike people from Massachusetts, New Yorkers are barbarians.
When we walked in the following night, there were our friends sitting at the bar. They greeted us by saying, heyyy go Red Sox! And then bought us our first round of drinks.
They weren’t the only friends we made. We also talked with our bartender, Amber. She was adorable and tiny – she could just barely see over the bar! She was so friendly with us. She told me about a St. Patrick’s Day celebration she went to in Savannah and showed me pictures of it on her phone. And she told us how she moved to Georgia from Alaska and was planning to go into the Coast Guard. Despite being so tiny, she is clearly a tough cookie. She also had some amazing tattoos. We all loved her, so we each wrote a note on our receipt saying how nice it was to meet her and have her as our bartender. A very nice tip was included.
I highly doubt I’ll ever be back in Warner Robins, but I definitely won’t forget it. Meeting cool people is the best part of traveling. So South, you’re growing on me.