Sunday, February 17, 2008

we made it

Finally, a chance to update. Apparently, the promise of wireless internet in our first hotel room was more of a suggestion that we bring our laptops and attempt to steal wireless access from our neighbors' networks down the street. However, after some agitating, and switching room to one closer to the hotel's server (which apparently sends out a very weak signal issuing from the lobby), we are now in business.

Our first full day in Atlanta was not without its stressors, foremost of which is the fact that two year-olds apparently really dislike being taken out of their routine, but at the end of the day, I think we're in a good place. I shant jinx things overly by saying too much (doctors overall seem rather invested in the concept of the jinx--all it takes is one resident innocently noting what a quiet night we've been having to signal the start of the call night going to hell in a handbasket), but if things go well, I think that we may (hopefully) be signing a rental contract by tomorrow afternoon. Which, you know, would be one less thing to worry about. About which more later.

It's been interesting seeing Atlanta so far. It's really, really different from New York, obviously, though I keep referring back to New York in trying to put into context what I'm seeing here. For example, in driving through one neighborhood, I mentioned to Joe how much it looked like Queens. And every time I try to think of how far one mile is, I just try to imagine how long it would take to walk twenty city blocks. It's different is all, really no good basis for comparison. But still nice, in a spread out, sprawling kind of way.

The people here are really different too, mostly in the fact that they are just so friendly. Now, really, I never thought of New Yorkers as being particularly unfriendly. I just think that most of us are, you know, purpose-driven. And in a big rush. Anyway, today at the supermarket, Cal was having something of a moment (there may have been screaming and sitting on the floor, refusing everything), and four separate people rushed up to see if they could cheer him up. FOUR PEOPLE. And wouldn't you know, one of them was actually successful, offering him a red balloon decorated with the "Publix" logo. I'm not saying that people in New York would step over a screaming child during their commute while barking orders into a cellphone or anything, but I daresay we would not have had so many people volunteering to jump to his rescue. So yes, very friendly people, these Atlantans.

Of course, there was that lady at the Atlanta airport who kept taking pictures of Cal with her cell phone camera, and another lady who kept stroking his hair while murmuring "I LOVE HIS HAIR," which really had me questioning where the line was between friendliness and inappropriate. I didn't say anything, figuring this was the famed Southern Hospitality at its most child-loving, but on the other hand, my internal monologue was insisting THERE IS TO BE NO PHOTOGRAPHY OR HEAD FONDLING BY STRANGERS. Also, SHOVE OVER, I'M IN A RUSH. Some habits are going to die hard. Good thing we'll be here for two years, to give us a fighting chance to acclimate.

Name That O.R. Equipment Part 2 answer: Yes, they were head holders for neurosurgery. Congratulations, you clever, clever people!