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Atlanta Guidelines

The following are guidelines for people who have never been to Atlanta, my old home town. They have been provided to me by friends who still live there and feel the need to let visitors know a little more about the city. These trasnlations will help you understand terms when you hear them.

1. Atlanta is comprised entirely of one way streets. The only way to get out of downtown Atlanta is to turn around and start over when you reach Greenville, South Carolina.

2. All directions start with, 'Go down Peachtree...'

3. Peachtree Street has no beginning and no end.

4. Atlanta is home of Coca Cola. That's all we drink here, so don't ask for any other soft drink.

5. Atlantans only know their way home and their way to work.

6. Gate One at the Airport is 32 miles away from the Main Concourse.

7. It's impossible to go around a block and wind up on the street you started on and that is why the Chamber of Commerce calls it a 'scenic drive'.

8. The 8 a.m. rush hour is from 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. The 5:00 p.m. rush hour is from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Friday's rush hour starts Thursday morning.

9. Reversible Lanes are not understood by anybody.

10. 'Sir' and 'Ma'am' are used by the person speaking to you if there's a remote possibility that you're at least 30 minutes older than they are.

11. 'Sugar' is a more common form of address than 'Miss'. So is 'Honey'.

12. Ponce de Leon Avenue can only be pronounced by a native, so do not attempt the Spanish pronunciation. People will simply tilt their heads to the right and stare at you.

13. The falling of one rain drop causes all traffic to immediately cease; so will daylight savings time and a girl applying eye shadow while crossing the street, or a flat tire three lanes over.

14. If you're standing on a corner and a MARTA Bus stops, you're expected to get on and go somewhere.

15. Atlanta is pronounced 'Lan-A'.

16. Construction on Peachtree Street is a way of life, and a permanent form of entertainment.

17. Construction crews aren't doing their job properly unless they close down all lanes except one during rush hour.

18. Atlanta's traffic is the friendliest around. The commuters spend hours mingling with each other twice a day. In fact, Atlanta's traffic is rated number 1 in the country. You will often see people parked beside the road and engaged in lively discussions.

19. Atlantans are very proud of our race track, known as Road Atlanta. It winds throughout the city on the Interstates, hence its name.

20. Georgia 400 is the southern equivalent of the AutoBahn. You will rarely see a semi-truck on GA400, because the truck drivers are intimidated by the oversized-SUV-wielding housewives racing home after a grueling day at the salon or the tennis match to meet their children at the school bus.

21. Metal construction plates on roadways are not temporary.

22. It is correct to say 'I live in Atlanta' as long as your house is somewhere in the state of GA and you have been downtown at least once.

23. Public transportation is only to be used by tourists. We built it for them and that's why it doesn't go anywhere we want it to.

24. To get to anywhere in Atlanta you need a car. Sidewalks are just there to keep us from driving on the grass. Nothing is walking distance.

25. 'Black Tie' in Atlanta refers to a formal event that you should wear your best jeans to.

26. Snow refers to flurries that never actually have to land on the ground to shut down the entire city and clear out everything in the supermarket.

27. Lake Lanier is a body of water surrounded by land and covered by boats.

28. Mayonnaise comes on everything you order from a drive-thru window.

29. To make it easy to understand where you are in Atlanta, the downtown Atlanta streets were laid out to form a perfect grid. -well, the first four blocks anyway. After that it gets creative.

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