Holiday season in early September is upon me and I am currently chasing experiences in the South. I chose Atlanta as one of the better places for a fly/drive: well-situated and you can switch north, south, east or west. Whatever is your bag: country music in Tennessee or history in Charleston. For this dog-leg, I stayed in Atlanta for a couple of nights but the city is a staging post with little to recommend it. Other people may find the place interesting and lively, but one long walk followed by a limbless individual waving his stumps in my face and requesting alms did turn me off. There were a higher proportion of loons than I expected or welcomed
I am now ensconced in Tennessee: finding some small delights in Knoxville, a quieter university town, nestled in the eaves of the Smoky Mountain Reservation. When the weather is warmer and sunnier than home, the bleak disposition of our gloomy August has lifted by cere skies and forested carpets rolling away into the haze. The country retains a fair share of surprises though the beer is sweeter than back home (even the imported stuff like Stella) and you can Sam Smiths' bottles here that do not seem to be available at home. (Why not?).
There was some coming out parade in Market Square, Knoxville, with a chorus of America the Beautiful and wholesome scholars and maidens striding forward in some civil ceremony, that would herald Edwardian pastiche if tried at home. Being English, I felt some embarrassment over walking by and disturbing the patriots, so we preserved our own sensibilities by striding towards insensibility in the Preservation Pub: a quiet watering hole that couldn't do decadence though it tried.
Back on the outskirts at the Electric Cowboy, the activity of square dancing to bleeps was both unusual and a strong reminder that I had readched my drinking capacity and my ability to appreciate the music. Numbed by excess, I saw that the dollar's decline left me feeling a little bit richer: always a minor concern for the tight tourist.