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Moving to Georgia

Thinking of moving to Georgia? Wondering what it’s really like to live there? Here’s the gen from our man on the ground.

What’s it really like? Well, that’s a difficult one to answer. I think what you get out of living here depends a lot on your outlook and tolerance.

One can only report on their own experiences so I’ll try to just give some facts without letting my opinions creep too far in:

  • Georgia’s state motto should read: “Georgia – where they put the ‘fun’ in fundamentalism”. Be prepared to be called to prayer at the most bizarre moments. (I found I couldn’t even attend an amateur radio club meeting without the proceedings starting with the pledge of allegiance and then some prayer – or was it prayer and then the pledge of allegiance? – can’t remember, by then my eyes had glazed over and I was planning the trip home…).
  • The people are very polite and friendly – on the face of it. This works fine for me because you will always get a friendly smile and welcome at any store or establishment. Now, when they talk incessantly about “getting together”, do yourself a favour: agree keenly and then forget it. It’ll never happen.
  • Eating out is very cheap – service generally excellent and always polite – this is the South after all…
  • The driving standard is breathtakingly bad. If you see an indicator flashing, it can only mean they hung something on it. I have a theory that some time in the future, American cars will have this strange, stunted unidentified stub of a thing sticking out from the steering column. Upon judicious enquiry, you may be informed that it is a vestigial remnant from the old days. They used to call it a turn signal, but, like our appendix, it’s shrunk through lack of use. Georgia cars have special indicators fitted either side of the front of the car. They are black, round and generally can be relied upon to point in the direction the car is intending to go. (This is not a hard and fast rule, though).
  • Three-lane freeways are fine because you can use the inside lane and get along quite well – no one else uses it. Two-lane highways send me nuts. There is a permanent rolling road block. This seems to be the local custom whereby two cars make the tacit arrangement to run side by side at two miles per hour under the speed limit for the duration. Try as you may to shift them, it’s very unlikely they’ll even know you’re there (mirrors are another vehicular appendage destined for vestigial midget-dom).
  • Conversely, those bloody American flags seem to be getting bigger, bigger and more prevalent. Have you noticed car bumpers worldwide have been getting bigger and bigger over recent years? This is a global trend started by the Americans because there wasn’t enough room to fit “Proud to be American”, “God bless America”, “I’m a Vietnam Vet” and “My kid is an honor student at Boondock Heights Elementary school” all on the same unit. I think the future lies in scrolling led displays…
  • Talking of bumpers, it’s no coincidence that their term for bumper: “Fender” is the same as the famous American guitar sharing its name. Regular gigs are held at mall parking lots where they pluck and strum at each other’s “fenders” and the effect can at times be quite musical. Usually at the larger of these events, the local police turn out to provide sound and light. Never forgetting their civic duties though, they station officers at strategic points where they commence dancing and waving hysterically at you to drive the very direction you are already going! Quite a spectacle really…

Anyhoo, I seem to have digressed…

  • Consumer goods are very reasonable. Your local Wal-Mart (and you will have a local Wal-Mart – right near the McDonald’s) is a godsend where you can buy a garden hose at 3:00 in the morning. At mine I was a little dismayed to find that they carried 27 different types of bible and not one dictionary though… These are great stores though and are remarkable for having 150 checkouts and 3 cashiers, 2 of which are usually away to get someone else because they can’t sell you that bottle of wine because they need to be 36, you need to be 80 and you need to be ashamed of yourself… It’s Sunday this week…

Oh dear, here I go again… somebody stop me…

If you have any specific questions or would like more information about moving to Georgia, USA, please try our Forum

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