Trip Start Apr 30, 2013
Trip End Mar 01, 2014

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Flag of United States  , Georgia
Thursday, May 23, 2013

Tuesday 14th May - Tuesday 21st May 2013

So I chose Atlanta for my next destination. It was the natural choice really, seeing as I was heading North anyway and I had friends (Sara and Jerimi) who were willing to put me up. I was pretty tired from being a big kid in Orlando so I relished the chance to chill out in an actual house with space to myself for awhile. The Megabus was mega cheap at around $20 – bus travel is seriously cheap here – and the journey was nothing like the horror stories I'd heard of weird freaks and escaped convicts who supposedly inhabit these buses; on the contrary, I sat next to an old dear who was possibly the nicest person I’d ever met. Once I arrived, Sara picked me up in her HUGE truck – which is apparently very commonplace in the States – and escorted me to her house waaaay out in the sticks. In my first hour in the house, no joke, I saw about 5 cockroaches (one of which was right next to my bed). Those of you that know me well – and I guess you all do otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this blog – will not be surprised to hear that I was FREAKING OUT at this development. Now it’s been a week to the day since this ordeal and maybe the tricks of time have exaggerated my opinion of the man eating cockroaches from hell, but they were HUGE rat sized beasts that wanted to kill me and use my head as a trophy to ward off any future travellers who dared to enter their domain. Luckily, from this point onwards I saw no more for the duration of my stay, which prevented me from suffering some sort of aneurysm that felt all too near in that first hour. Guess what doesn’t get the Pugh Stamp of Approval? That’s right – GIANT MAN EATING COCKOACHES FROM ATLANTA.

I should stop shouting...I seem to shout a lot on this blog. I’ve calmed down now. 

For the first couple of days I did bugger all really, which followers of Trystan will also know is a favourite pastime of his. It seems I’m speaking in third person now…my old creative writing tutor would be appalled if he was to read this, which he won’t unless one of you is sick enough to send it to him. Back on topic though, and I ventured out to Atlanta twice during my week. The first time I wandered around for a bit and realised just how big Atlanta was; high rise everywhere, which of course you expect over here, but it had an almost Manhattan like feel to it. After taking some pictures of buildings that I’ll probably delete because they never look as good on camera as they do in real life, I found a bar down a side street and bought lots of beer. Not all at once mind, I did it the normal way (one after the other if you weren’t sure) and was later joined by Jerimi who was supposed be pick me up and take me home but ended up giving me a tour of his favourite bars in Atlanta. We didn’t get in till around half five in the morning; Sara wasn’t too pleased with Jerimi…

The second time I went into the city I actually did some cultural stuff…sort of. By some miracle I actually managed to find my way to somewhere I was going, which was the Olympic Park. There wasn’t much there to be honest, except a fountain that I remember seeing on TV when Atlanta staged the Olympics in 1996. I then went on the 'World of Coke’ tour, which I thought would get me unbelievably high but it turned out they were talking about the soda drink (Coca Cola was founded in Atlanta in 1886, I learnt). I got to sample around 60 different Coca Cola products, which I think may have permanently damaged my bladder.

Jerimi let me tag along with him to work a couple of times, which was interesting. He’s a roofer,  which meant I got to see a lot of the surrounding neighborhoods of Georgia as we went around inspecting roofs. Well, I didn’t do much inspecting…I just sort of stayed in the car and watched, like a child who for some reason hadn’t gone to school today and had to come to work with his Dad. The Neighborhoods were exactly what you expect of middle class America; all perfect lawns and humungous houses. Every street seemed a carbon copy of Wisteria Lane from Desperate Housewives...not that I watch Desperate Housewives. I was lucky enough to be invited into a house owned by Jerimi’s colleague. He literally had my dream ‘lads basement’ – Table Tennis Table, Pool Table, 80 inch cinema screen, A BAR. This is what I aspire to. Jerimi also took me on a couple of trips around places that left me in no doubt that I was in America; first we went to some distant motorbike garage where we looked at lots of Harleys. I haven’t got the first clue about this sort of stuff so I just pretended to look like I knew what was going on. My cover was blown when the extremely Southern mechanic asked me about ‘revs’ and ‘CCs’ and ‘tork’ and other such biking words – my expression was blank to say the least. From there we went to a massive gun shop, where on the way in a saleswoman tried to reel me in ("Who doesn’t wanna free gun, ya know?" - possibly the most American thing I’ve ever heard anyone say).

On to pastures new
So it was time to leave Atlanta. I was extremely grateful for Sara and Jerimi’s hospitality, especially the way I’d been fed! Actually might have smashed out a ‘5 a day’ for the first time since I’ve been here, news that’ll please my Mum no end. Next up on my Northward trek is Nashville. Now, in my last blog update I mentioned ‘two girls’ and a ‘proposal’ so I suppose I should elaborate. Whilst in Orlando I met two Australian girls in the hostel who were doing something similar to me, however they were planning to hire a campervan and travel all the way across to San Francisco in the next couple of weeks. The van they’ve hired sleeps three, so you can probably see where this is going…yep, they’ve invited me along! I’ll be meeting up with them again in Nashville, and from there we’ll be travelling the 2300 miles together in the beast you see to the right. It means I won’t get to go to Chicago and a couple of other places on this side of the States, but when two Aussie’s invite you along for a road trip, there was only ever going to be one answer!

To view my Atlanta album, click here
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