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  #201  
Old 15.07.2011, 12:06
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Re: Question for Americans: What is it with the South?

Look Hoppy, the question had been for amogles who seems to have been looking to VISIT.

However valid (or not) your commentary may be, they have very little "real world" value for someone who is vacationing (or working temporarily on a short-term project) in the US.

Your political agendas and biases are tiresome, as always.
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  #202  
Old 15.07.2011, 12:09
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Re: Question for Americans: What is it with the South?

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About 15 years ago I had a strange experience. I stayed at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta. I got bored so I went for a walk. I carried on walking for al ong time. The scenery began to change and I felt more relaxed-I felt that I was more amongst ordinary people, not constantly on parade. I walked into a big Walmart. As I went into the store I realized that people were staring- I was pretty dressed up. Then I realized that there were no Caucasian people, people were staring with concern as if trying to tell me something.
I dunno if that's anything to do with the South.

I was in Philadelphia and had some spare time on my hands so decided to look around town and stepped aboard the first bus that caught my eye. After a couple of stops I noticed that all the White people were getting off and only Black people were getting on, and also on the streets there were only Black people after that. At first I found it interesting rather than unnerving but thought it might be a coincidence but as the bus continued further and further it didn't change. A bit further along, one old Black gentleman got on the bus and because he was old and a bit frail I helped him up the steps and so he came and sat next to me and we started chatting. Unfortunately I couldn't catch half of what he said, firstly he was missing half his teeth so couldn't speak clearly, and secondly he spoke in a way that I wasn't used to, so at first I kept saying "pardon me" and "I didn't quite catch that" but gave up after a while and I just let him keep on talking and from the bits that I did understand he was warning me that this was "no safe ghetto" (his words) and he said "be careful" and "don't trust people" and he told me I was different but normally White people were not welcome here and he also talked about the Bible quite a bit. I actually found it quite unnerving that there should be areas like that in which I shouldn't be welcome for racist reasons, and I'm not talking about some backstreet alleys but this was a major street with shops and lost of people, so not the sort of place where you'd naturally feel unsafe or need to watch your back.

Also, I was in Chicago and went to a pizzeria with a friend of mine. The guests were about half White and half Black but I noticed the waiter made us sit at a table that was next to another table with White folks, even though that table wasn't cleaned yet so we had to wait while he cleaned it, yet there were other tables where we could have sat but they were next to Black people. Also I noticed that the White waiters waited on White tables and the Black waiters waited on Black tables. Maybe it was just a coincidence but I thought it was odd.
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  #203  
Old 15.07.2011, 12:11
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Re: Question for Americans: What is it with the South?

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OK I am not an expert on America, but...
Hoppy: more reliable than the Atomic Clock.
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  #204  
Old 15.07.2011, 12:23
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Re: Question for Americans: What is it with the South?

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I dunno if that's anything to do with the South.

I was in Philadelphia and had some spare time on my hands so decided to look around town and stepped aboard the first bus that caught my eye. After a couple of stops I noticed that all the White people were getting off and only Black people were getting on, and also on the streets there were only Black people after that. At first I found it interesting rather than unnerving but thought it might be a coincidence but as the bus continued further and further it didn't change. A bit further along, one old Black gentleman got on the bus and because he was old and a bit frail I helped him up the steps and so he came and sat next to me and we started chatting. Unfortunately I couldn't catch half of what he said, firstly he was missing half his teeth so couldn't speak clearly, and secondly he spoke in a way that I wasn't used to, so at first I kept saying "pardon me" and "I didn't quite catch that" but gave up after a while and I just let him keep on talking and from the bits that I did understand he was warning me that this was "no safe ghetto" (his words) and he said "be careful" and "don't trust people" and he told me I was different but normally White people were not welcome here and he also talked about the Bible quite a bit. I actually found it quite unnerving that there should be areas like that in which I shouldn't be welcome for racist reasons, and I'm not talking about some backstreet alleys but this was a major street with shops and lost of people, so not the sort of place where you'd naturally feel unsafe or need to watch your back.

Also, I was in Chicago and went to a pizzeria with a friend of mine. The guests were about half White and half Black but I noticed the waiter made us sit at a table that was next to another table with White folks, even though that table wasn't cleaned yet so we had to wait while he cleaned it, yet there were other tables where we could have sat but they were next to Black people. Also I noticed that the White waiters waited on White tables and the Black waiters waited on Black tables. Maybe it was just a coincidence but I thought it was odd.
I must admit that I have only briefly visited Chicago or Philly- kind of passing through. I don't like to be segregated, you certainly don't get it where I am.
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Old 15.07.2011, 12:28
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Re: Question for Americans: What is it with the South?

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I don't like to be segregated, you certainly don't get it where I am.
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  #206  
Old 15.07.2011, 12:39
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Re: Question for Americans: What is it with the South?

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I must admit that I have only briefly visited Chicago or Philly- kind of passing through. I don't like to be segregated, you certainly don't get it where I am.

Hoppy, I'm sure you're aware of gated neighborhoods. Try getting into one without an invite in a '73 Toyota Corolla.

Try pulling up to a trailer park in a Mercedes CLS decked out in Hermes and Vuitton and see how friendly the folks are to you.

Poor black area? Yeah, a white boy wandering around would probably do well to be cautious. South side of the tracks in Tucson? Better tuck your handkerchief all the way in your pocket or you might start a turf battle.

What kind of segregation are you on about? There's seven degrees to anything, you can link anything you want to Southern dumbness if you want. But I could probably link anything I want to Ithica, NY too . If it was important to me.
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  #207  
Old 15.07.2011, 12:42
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Re: Question for Americans: What is it with the South?

Some of the nicest Americans I have met are from the South, Peg A and cmirsky's wife come to mind

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  #208  
Old 15.07.2011, 12:58
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Re: Question for Americans: What is it with the South?

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Look Hoppy, the question had been for amogles who seems to have been looking to VISIT.

However valid (or not) your commentary may be, they have very little "real world" value for someone who is vacationing (or working temporarily on a short-term project) in the US.

Your political agendas and biases are tiresome, as always.
You don't swat up on the history or culture of a place you visit? I always do-I thought that is why people visit museums and art galleries etc. Some of the top ten tourist attractions are historical sites, museums, places of cultural interest.
If someone has a different opinion about the history or culture to mine they can post it - and do! It's a free forum.

I guess that it is a preference- I've done the Florida vacation-Disney World and Epcot, MGM - its not my type of thing. I met some Swiss while there they didn't like the muggy sky complained that they couldn't get a decent tan.
Disney is the antipathy of real world to me. I guess for some people that is real world -like Vegas-Epcot has a real mock-up of towns and cities around the world, where you can taste international cuisine.

I go to places to learn and for scenery- I loved walking the Appalachian trail and the South Carolina beaches, the Cylcorama, Stone Mountain (birthplace of KKK) Martin Luther King, museum. Wasn't too impressed with the Coke museum. Like the Plantation Houses and basket weaving in South Carolina. All of these are top tourist sites.

However when Amogles wrote-" what is it with the South" I interpreted it to me that he was asking about attitudes between Northern and southerners- as indicated by comments from people he knew about Alabama.
The north-south divide is based on slavery-that's what the Civil War was all about- no? It's still around. Some asked about the confederate flag (NOT ME!) Why is the confederate flag so popular and yet its display so contentious?

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Supporters of the flag view it as a symbol of southern heritage and the independence of the distinct cultural tradition of the South from Northern government. Some groups use the Southern Cross as one of the symbols associated with their organizations, including racist groups such as the Neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan.[21] The flag is also sometimes used by separatist organizations such as the Aryan Nations. The Aryan Nation also uses the U.S. flag as well as the Christian flag displayed in some Protestant churches.
Due to its ban in some schools and universities that have viewed it as a racist symbol, display of the flag has, in these contexts, also been considered an exercise of free speech.[22


A peer-reviewed study showed that exposure to the Confederate battle flag results in more negative judgments of black targets and resulted in lowered willingness to vote for Barack Obama among white students at Southern Virginia University. The study concluded that the prevalence of this flag in the South might contribute to a reluctance to vote for a political candidate because of his race.[23]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flags_o...tes_of_America
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Old 15.07.2011, 13:17
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Re: Question for Americans: What is it with the South?

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Hoppy, I'm sure you're aware of gated neighborhoods. Try getting into one without an invite in a '73 Toyota Corolla.

Try pulling up to a trailer park in a Mercedes CLS decked out in Hermes and Vuitton and see how friendly the folks are to you.

Poor black area? Yeah, a white boy wandering around would probably do well to be cautious. South side of the tracks in Tucson? Better tuck your handkerchief all the way in your pocket or you might start a turf battle.

What kind of segregation are you on about? There's seven degrees to anything, you can link anything you want to Southern dumbness if you want. But I could probably link anything I want to Ithica, NY too . If it was important to me.
I was talking about be segregated at a table, no I have never had that here.
Segregation where I live is more about poor and rich. there are poor Caucasians up north just like the south- West Virginia mining communities for example. I didn't say that Southerners are dumb, but the schooling sucks. Most of my contacts down south are rich-caucasian educated golfers/ tennis players. The only southern blacks that I know are those that got displaced up north because of Katrina. My politician brother invested in the rebuilding/ gentrification of New Orleans to get a green card and my sister managed a bar in Galveston with a gun under the counter. but like I said before my knowledge is limited. Lets hear the other side from Peg A and others who lived in the South, if they are fed up of my left wing stuff.

I drove into the Kennedy compound on the cape to a very swanky club-uninvited. The only gated communities I know are down South. If they exist up north I was probably naive and just drove in. I am not saying that they don't exist but I haven't seen any exclusively all-white gated communities up North.
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Old 15.07.2011, 13:23
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Re: Question for Americans: What is it with the South?

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Most of my contacts down south are rich-caucasian educated golfers/ tennis players.
Why does that not surprise us?
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Old 15.07.2011, 13:27
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Re: Question for Americans: What is it with the South?

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You will find that most go to private schools, my sister sent her kids to private schools it was the only way to get a half-decent education. She lived in Georgia then South Carolina.

For most of my friends who were transferred or had to move down south , their main worry was schooling, unless they were religious, in which case they more often than not welcomed it. you won't get away with teaching evolution down south without a lot of protest.

The general requirement for teachers in NY or California is a Masters- they prefer Special-Ed trained teachers. Most teachers know that if you are certified in NY or CA these are the gold standard- you can easily find work elsewhere, but for lower pay.
Here's the pay and certification map

http://certificationmap.com/

Here's the problem with Atlanta schools:
http://www.11alive.com/news/article/...ndance-records

Southern school standards in 2007 they have been forced to change but it takes time:



http://gsa.confex.com/gsa/2007SE/fin...act_118985.htm
In California, they are absolutely bankrupt so it is not a good example
of what schools should be.

A friend of mine from New York came down South to school. He said
that kids would beat him up for taking books home with him. That
is no example of how a school should be. Some NY schools might be
good, but they are generally not.
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Old 15.07.2011, 13:33
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Re: Question for Americans: What is it with the South?

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A peer-reviewed study showed that exposure to the Confederate battle flag results in more negative judgments of black targets and resulted in lowered willingness to vote for Barack Obama among white students at Southern Virginia University. The study concluded that the prevalence of this flag in the South might contribute to a reluctance to vote for a political candidate because of his race.[23]
I wonder if that study hasn't got cause and effect muddled up?

Sometimes I despair with the nonsense academia are payed to spout these days.
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Old 15.07.2011, 13:35
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Re: Question for Americans: What is it with the South?

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Most of my contacts down south are rich-caucasian educated golfers/ tennis players..
Gosh, we must be a disappointment...

You don't have to quote or post links, by the way, to feel like you are having conversation, really.
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Old 15.07.2011, 13:37
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Re: Question for Americans: What is it with the South?

Why? It's a thread explaining to Amogles why certain people (non Southerners, apparently) react the way they do when were asked about the South and what is nice to see and visit there since A is thinking of visiting the South. Why should they be put on the spot to defend themselves against your obvious bias?

Funny, you sound just like a lot of European "progressives" that have a lot to say about the US without ever having been there. But they, unlike you, don't have the benefit of having lived there. Is it really up to Peg A and others to overcome your prejudice?

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I was talking about be segregated at a table, no I have never had that here.
Segregation where I live is more about poor and rich. there are poor Caucasians up north just like the south- West Virginia mining communities for example. I didn't say that Southerners are dumb, but the schooling sucks. Most of my contacts down south are rich-caucasian educated golfers/ tennis players. The only southern blacks that I know are those that got displaced up north because of Katrina. My politician brother invested in the rebuilding/ gentrification of New Orleans to get a green card and my sister managed a bar in Galveston with a gun under the counter. but like I said before my knowledge is limited. Lets hear the other side from Peg A and others who lived in the South, if they are fed up of my left wing stuff.

I drove into the Kennedy compound on the cape to a very swanky club-uninvited. The only gated communities I know are down South. If they exist up north I was probably naive and just drove in. I am not saying that they don't exist but I haven't seen any exclusively all-white gated communities up North.

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Old 15.07.2011, 13:41
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Re: Question for Americans: What is it with the South?

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Lets hear the other side from Peg A and others who lived in the South, if they are fed up of my left wing stuff.
My experience in Texas happened more than 20 years ago, I hardly count that as anything really "relevant" to today's world in Southeast Texas. Likewise, my experience in Savannah was 10yrs ago, also of only limited relevance, particularly to someone who is visiting.

Now, if I were to be asked where to LIVE I might get into a deeper discussion with you. Meanwhile, for the purpose of this thread, I think that your attitudes towards the South reek of societal bias and seem to me as a pampered visitor rather than someone who spent any actual time anyplace outside a styling salon.

Now, you have posted often enough about things of educational nature and political "value" that I happen to think (much as I don't care for how you come across) that there MUST be more to you than that but as is, I think your input has had very little (if any) value.

I very carefully have worded my replies to this thread in effort to allow two things - 1. the people who DO know things about The South and how it is now to offer valued input and 2. that folks who may wish to visit will not be unduly biased against any specific area by what I have to say.


One thing I will say about going anyplace in the US that is VASTLY different from here is this:
Watch out for graffiti. If there is straight up graffiti in any place in the US, you can take it as a sign that the direction you are traveling may not be the direction you want to go.

Here, graffiti seems to have little-to-no real relevance to what the neighborhood is like, whether you should be cautious or not. There, depending on you, your tastes, your wants, your presentation of yourself, you may or may not be uncomfortable in areas "decorated" with graffiti.



Personally though, I've lived in many ares of the US and for me, it is a matter of the feel of the place anyhow. One of the "safest" apartments I had was in a very poor mixed immigrant (mostly Mexican) and Black neighborhood. The safety of my apartment though could be chalked up to the VERY large man who lived right next door, keeping an eye on us as he didn't want the police to come round and interfere with his affairs.

My favorite apartment was in another section of the same town, this time mostly with older working-class White folks, some Mexican families and some Black families. There was a pub on the corner, a pizza place just up the street and a tiny family run grocery two blocks away. Some folks wouldn't have considered it the best neighborhood but to me, with the mix of people, it was simply wonderful.

Of course, being the northern suburbs of Chicago, you might find yourself in a mighty heap of trouble if you come in wearing anything that shows you to be a Green Bay Packers fan.
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Old 15.07.2011, 13:54
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Re: Question for Americans: What is it with the South?

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You don't swat up on the history or culture of a place you visit? I always do-I thought that is why people visit museums and art galleries etc. Some of the top ten tourist attractions are historical sites, museums, places of cultural interest.
If someone has a different opinion about the history or culture to mine they can post it - and do! It's a free forum.
Hi Hoppy,

I'm definitely not into Disney style vacationing. I generally like to see normal stuff, such as going to some normal average town and walking around and seeing what there is to see such as buildings, archtecture, parks, and maybe popping into a bar or a restaurant to try local specialities (if there are any) or just bathing in and absorbing the local flavour and colour. I do go into museums when there are good ones but I'm not really the museum type. I'm more interested in just seeing normal things away from the tourist trail, so things that are not put there especially for me to look at but that are there because they are normal or typical.

I've done that in different places and you know, every place is special in its own way. I try not to judge and so don't say to myself, this is better somewhere else and this is pretty nasty and ugly or these people must be stupid to think things like that. I try to see things in their own natural context and in that context they mostly make sense, and I try to see the positive sides of everything, and believe me everything has a positive side.

I started this thread because I was discussing this with some Americans at work and I mentioned going to Alabama. I don't actually know very much about Alabama but one reason that it occurred to me was that I remembered reading "To Killa Mockingbird" when I was a schoolboy back in the UK (it was my project and I wrote an essay on it) and I was wondering whether was really was like that, or still might be a bit like that in smaller places today. I mean not the racism, that's not what I'm interested in seeing and I hope it's not like that any more, but the laid back way of life that forms the general flavour of the that book. But various Americans at work have told me that that's no part of the world to go on vacations and told me a lot of negative things such as everybody there being backward, bigotted, intolerant etc. But what I've learnt on this thread has assured me that I'd like to go there all the same and form my own opinion.
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Old 15.07.2011, 13:56
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Re: Question for Americans: What is it with the South?

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Of course, being the northern suburbs of Chicago, you might find yourself in a mighty heap of trouble if you come in wearing anything that shows you to be a Green Bay Packers fan.
Actually, I had a short teaching stint in a ghetto high school in Chicago, and what you mentioned about your fav appartments rings a bell, it was a great school, rough and odd, but great. I had zero fear, maybe coz these gangsta kids actually really respected their teacher..it's true, I didn't prance around in provoking sport gear and probally was exotic for them, but it was one of the best teaching experiences ever.

It is really hard to make stereotypes..It's like us trying to make stereotypes about Europe.
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Old 15.07.2011, 13:57
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Re: Question for Americans: What is it with the South?

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One thing I will say about going anyplace in the US that is VASTLY different from here is this:
Watch out for graffiti. If there is straight up graffiti in any place in the US, you can take it as a sign that the direction you are traveling may not be the direction you want to go.

Here, graffiti seems to have little-to-no real relevance to what the neighborhood is like, whether you should be cautious or not. There, depending on you, your tastes, your wants, your presentation of yourself, you may or may not be uncomfortable in areas "decorated" with graffiti.
Yes, this! I can't speak for New York, LA etc. but in small town America it's certainly the case. Sides of boxcars are one thing, but graffiti on small-town buildings isn't all art and edgy self-expression - it's mostly gang signs. If there's a lot of it about, that's maybe not the best place to stop for a cup of coffee.

I remember my arrival in Switzerland... train ride from Zurich airport to Zurich HB had me clutching my seat. I asked my Swiss friend who'd met me at the airport whether this was the rough end of town and she gave me a blank look. "Rough end? Not really, no worse than anywhere else in particular." Girl, I thought, what on earth have you let yourself in for? Then when I got my apartment - hunting up and down the street for a camera angle that would capture the glorious cobblestone quaintness of it all while cleverly obscuring the graffiti lest Mom should take fright and try to book me on the next plane back. Oh, fun times.
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Old 15.07.2011, 14:05
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Re: Question for Americans: What is it with the South?

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OK I am not an expert on America, but this is the problem- education.
.


BUll Connor

You feel the racism increasing as you move South. It creeps in insidiously like the Spanish Moss, takes hold and obscures reality.
You haven`t been to "Gwinner" North Dakota yet .Then you can talk to me about racism.The "N"word is used more often then not.I know I worked there for 7 month BTW North Dakota is in the North

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Old 15.07.2011, 14:16
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Re: Question for Americans: What is it with the South?

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My experience in Texas happened more than 20 years ago, I hardly count that as anything really "relevant" to today's world in Southeast Texas. Likewise, my experience in Savannah was 10yrs ago, also of only limited relevance, particularly to someone who is visiting.
OK

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Now, if I were to be asked where to LIVE I might get into a deeper discussion with you. Meanwhile, for the purpose of this thread, I think that your attitudes towards the South reek of societal bias and seem to me as a pampered visitor rather than someone who spent any actual time anyplace outside a styling salon.
I never go to a styling salon- maybe once a year for a haircut?

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Now, you have posted often enough about things of educational nature and political "value" that I happen to think (much as I don't care for how you come across) that there MUST be more to you than that but as is, I think your input has had very little (if any) value.

I very carefully have worded my replies to this thread in effort to allow two things - 1. the people who DO know things about The South and how it is now to offer valued input and 2. that folks who may wish to visit will not be unduly biased against any specific area by what I have to say.


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One thing I will say about going anyplace in the US that is VASTLY different from here is this:
Watch out for graffiti. If there is straight up graffiti in any place in the US, you can take it as a sign that the direction you are traveling may not be the direction you want to go.

Here, graffiti seems to have little-to-no real relevance to what the neighborhood is like, whether you should be cautious or not. There, depending on you, your tastes, your wants, your presentation of yourself, you may or may not be uncomfortable in areas "decorated" with graffiti.



Personally though, I've lived in many ares of the US and for me, it is a matter of the feel of the place anyhow. One of the "safest" apartments I had was in a very poor mixed immigrant (mostly Mexican) and Black neighborhood. The safety of my apartment though could be chalked up to the VERY large man who lived right next door, keeping an eye on us as he didn't want the police to come round and interfere with his affairs.

My favorite apartment was in another section of the same town, this time mostly with older working-class White folks, some Mexican families and some Black families. There was a pub on the corner, a pizza place just up the street and a tiny family run grocery two blocks away. Some folks wouldn't have considered it the best neighborhood but to me, with the mix of people, it was simply wonderful.

Of course, being the northern suburbs of Chicago, you might find yourself in a mighty heap of trouble if you come in wearing anything that shows you to be a Green Bay Packers fan.
So the last but is about Chicago i.e. North?

Sorry, I don't learn much about the South from this or about the North -South divide as you didn't really have anything to say about the South. Actually I like graffiti.

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Hoppy-Most of my contacts down south are rich-caucasian educated golfers/ tennis players.
DB-Why does that not surprise us?
Oh yes forgot to add- they are also Republicans!
ProGolf is so boring that's why I got talking to the Plantation family guys- I didn't work out their politics, just very knowledgeable and scathing sense of humour.They got me into the Clubhouse, they taught me about the cotton-gin, history of cotton plantations, Jesuit colleges, one had his own printing company. I will talk to anyone interesting, especially when following a pro-golfer around the greens. I don't know anything about golf and they didn't try to teach me, I think they were just sponsors.

Last edited by hoppy; 15.07.2011 at 14:26.
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