Atlanta times

Trip Start Apr 05, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Georgia
Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I just can't figure it out.

I enjoy this country so much. 
Every step I take, I live intensely. I observe, I enjoy, I realize the incredible incredible luxury and comfort here. In many ways over-the-top.

Is here where I want to be?
Something is stopping me of this conclusion, probably the urge to explore and experience? But if I observe my mind and heart here, compared to anywhere else... well, it is just not comparable. I can't really explain to you why, there are many many things about this country that I dislike, probably the things you know of from the media. But all the other things, the things you might not know of, I love them so much. But somewhere inside of me I just feel like this isn't it, yet. I need to do something else first. But I don't know what, and hope it'll just cross my path and maybe then I'll know. Or maybe not.

Oh the States. What a contrast. Even though Colombia had many influences of you, it still was no doubt South America. Anything, anything you want, you can get here. Well, figuratively spoken of course. The abundance of stuff in supermarkets blow my mind. You can buy everything from egg whites in carton to preloaded visa cards.

And I see big changes happening. Having a few months in between my visits, I can compare and notice clear changes.
Last year when I went to New York with my kriskrasgroup, NY had started transforming slowly, into a greener city. Some streets and parts of squares were blocked for traffic and chairs were placed for people to hang out, even on Times Square. The highline had opened, an elevated park I'd highly recommend to stroll on when you happen to be there. Small changes with big impacts.
Now, in Atlanta, I notice there's organic and 'green' products everywhere. If I want conditioner for my hair without junk in it, I don't need to embark on a difficult mission anymore. There have always been some supermarkets carrying more natural stuff than others, but I just see that it entered the mainstream now. It's a trend. A good one! Things are changing, but there's still a crazy long way to go.

My dear friend Allyson picked me up in the airport of Atlanta. I am staying with her for about 2 weeks, with a break in the middle in which I will head to New Orleans, one of the big blanks on my travels through this country.
She brought me to the house where she's living now with Andres and their beautiful little baby boy Austin. They live in a big house in the suburbs, with Andres's incredibly nice uncle and grandma. As Andres's family comes from Colombia (I feel like my life is full with little loops and connections sometimes) this is the typical South-American family-style I've written about a few times earlier. Family sticks together and is there for each other. It's admirable in many ways, and a different culture definitely.

I had some all-American experiences here, visiting the 'World of Coca Cola', a not-deniable giant in the world. The greatest thing was that you could sample many different soda's from all over the world. I hung out with some couchsurfers and organized a dinner, it was great, 30 people came and we went to a typical 'Southern" style restaurant, where you got your meal and a free back rub (at the table) of the owner.

Some other special experiences came on my way thanks to my friends. Andres took me to a "Rock-church", you can not imagine this existing! It looks like you enter a concert, great music, lights, stage... Christian rock! If you don't listen to the lyrics it could be any other nice rock-music.... After the music the preacher came on stage and looked more like a talk show-host. They did a little stunt with a volunteer and a treadmill on stage, not your regular church again, pointing out how hectic our life is and taking a break every now and then makes everything better for everyone. Nice message!

Our last night Allyson and I went to a movietheatre-and-restaurant-in-one. Again a cool and different experience. Imagine a regular movie theater hall, but instead of chairs with tables (and luxury office desk-chairs), and a little buzzer with light to call a waitress. We ordered our all-American meals, quesedilla for Allyson and some buffalo chicken for me, and we enjoyed our movie.

I think I like it so much because I feel like a little child in this country. Everything is so different, extreme at times, interesting. I walk around with my eyes open and in almost constant awe or shock, both for the good and bad.That is I think why I love being here so much. But that would be different if I would really live here... . So, I go on my way... And will be coming back here again and again, visiting my friends and enjoying the amazingness and abundance of everything.
With pain in my heart I leave Allyson, it would be great to live somewhere near her. The world is sometimes so small, and at other times so big.

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