You know that old saying, “You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl?” Sometimes, in this interconnected age, I think it’s harder and harder to take the girl out of the country… or state… or city. That’s certainly the feeling I got when on the train the other day in Tokyo. My brother was visiting me and we were touring around some of the interesting parts of town when I looked up and spotted this advertisement, like the face of a neighbor among strangers.
Back in Augusta, this week among all weeks of the year was the most exciting, frustrating, and bewildering as our otherwise relatively quiet, southern city was flooded with foreigners from up north or out west — and even from other countries. Everyone prepared like it was an oncoming hurricane, buying up toilet paper and milk and either leaving town or trying to stay home as much as possible. The traffic is terrible. One of my first “real” jobs was working at the Masters tournament as a cashier’s assistant — seven 14 hour work days on my feet with only 1 half-hour break unless it rained enough to close up shop for a while. Fortunately for the workers, it always rains at least a little during Masters week (during which the British players usually manage to pull ahead, somehow).
Despite the pain and consternation that memories of the Masters holds for me, it is a uniquely Augustan festival and reminded me quite sweetly of home and of all my fellow Augustans living through it. As strange as my surroundings may seem, as disconnected as I may feel from whatever is happening back in that peach of a city I grew up in, reminders of a loving home among the people who live there are never quite gone.
Oh, and smile, Augusta, people the world over really are watching you this week and wishing we were there. >^_^<