I've been in "the south" for several months now.
Not a lot of "the south" maybe, but Georgia is still "the south". I have also spent some time in Alabama, Missouri & Florida too. I have impressions of what the south is.
I had a serious talk with a lady who is "born & bred southerner" about my questions & that was helpful.. it caused me set aside at least one preconceived notion that I had about "the south".
What I've seen has been mostly like all the rest of the country, a McDonalds here is pretty much like a McDonalds there as is a Walmart or any of the national chain stores. Best Food's mayo is Hellman's out here, Hardee's burgers looks a lot like Carl's Jr out west but I don't recall seeing a Waffle House restaurant in my travels out west. It seems every small town between here and Atlanta has a Waffle House but it's been some time since I saw a Jack In The Box.
What is different is the amount of water I've seen.Water like in rivers, streams, lakes & creeks. Green.. green trees, green grass, green brush & green Kudzu . Kudzu everywhere in some places...
|kudzu covering the bushes|
|Covering most everything on the hillside|
Churches, lot's & lot's of churches.A friend in Missouri explained the (rural) churches were built when the buggy ride to church was a big factor in where you went to worship. He was talking about rural churches, there is an abundance of houses of worship in the towns I've seen.
The southern accent is here, usually it's soft and just different enough to say "the south" but it's not been difficult to understand.
The other 'thing' I've noticed is the dollar type stores. Dollar stores everywhere, three different brand of Dollar Stores too, and a number of title loan places. I'm in a semi rural area, not the big city.
As a side note everybody I've met will go to lengths to avoid Atlanta...
Formal & informal flea markets abound!None of the local ones are really big but they are all over. There are a couple different 'informal' ones that operate out of a mini-storage. Come the weekend the storage locker door rolls up, table 7 stuff is set out, the 'garage sale' sign comes out & it's open for business. This is not really southern, I've seen it before but I don't recall seeing this this many.
|A dollar store in a strip mall|
|A dollar store sitting by itself off a 2 lane road|
I'm thinking with all the dollar stores, thrift shops,flea markets & title loan places that the "the south" that I've seen is a bit depressed.
Maybe it's a lack of jobs? Maybe there is a deeply rooted desire for a bargain & an entrepreneurial spirit?
There are a lot of new cars too. So it's not depressed like some of those boarded up downtowns in Texas but just not real affluent... The Texas towns were just sad to look at as I drove through.
"The south" has it's quirks from what I've seen, but everywhere has it's quirks. The people here have been watching the same TV and the same Hollywood movies that everyone else has.
I guess I'm just in the modern America, the part called the South.
I do find myself wondering about what I'm going to see when get up the NE part of the country.