Wednesday, September 12, 2007



I have days worth of Atlanta observations to dole out, which means that I'm hesitating while trying to decide what to tell you about next.

Let's turn to southern hospitality. I have to say that everyone we interacted with in Atlanta was kind and helpful, from the lady who helped us purchase our Breeze passes for the MARTA train, to the concierge who recommended the restaurant Thrive, to the Italian waiter at Thrive (his name was Erjon (pronounced Aaron) - he's been in the United States three years and is in school) to the police officers who helped us with directions to the bus driver who took us to the Atlanta Botanical Garden (he told us the secret to the good life is to never go into debt - pay cash for everything) to the man who took our admission fee at the Atlanta Botanical Garden who informed us that he's seen evidence of global warming in Atlanta. Even the panhandlers were soft-spoken and helpful while attempting to pry cash out of us unsuspecting tourists.

Far and away my favorite of all was Karlos, our waiter at the Omni Hotel. We first met Karlos at a small museums luncheon on Thursday. He stood out immediately because of his skill at his job and his regal bearing. He was attentive beyond belief. If he saw anyone hesitate or look in need of something, he was immediately at the table to offer his assistance. Watching him was like watching professional ballet, he was so smooth in his movements. I did not catch his name at the small museums luncheon, but found it out later during the awards banquet on Saturday night. When Hubby and I got seated, Karlos suddenly appeared and I was so surprised and pleased to see him that I blurted out, "Oh, goody! We get you again tonight!" I was delighted to be able to watch him work again. It's pure joy to see someone perform a job so well, and especially a job as hard as waiting tables. At the end of the banquet, Hubby and I saw him clearing tables and I was determined to go shake his hand, which I did. I complimented him on his work and he said that hearing that was better than getting a tip. He asked if Hubby and I were married and when we answered in the affirmative, he asked how long. We said eighteen years and his eyes grew wide and he gave us a smile and said he hoped his upcoming marriage would last that long. He is due to get married in December. We congratulated him and wished him well. If he is anywhere near as attentive to his future wife as he was to us, his marriage will indeed be long and fruitful.

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