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3 Punishable Sins in Atlanta (I’ve Committed All of Them!)

With Atlanta just months away from my rearview mirror, I find myself looking at the city in a new light. I still can’t wait to put it behind me and go home to the side of America where I belong. Still, I know there are things I will miss here. I also know that there are things which irritated me that I will finally get to laugh at when I’m no longer experiencing it.

As a southern city, Atlanta struggles to blend urban freedoms with rural restrictions. The end result is that even though you are more likely to meet people from everywhere else but Atlanta while strolling through the city, we all somehow end up subscribing to the same ridiculous ideas of what it means to be an Atlantan.

I say we loosely because actually live in the suburbs, not the city limits. Unfortunately, this doesn’t spare me from much else but traffic. So, if you’re thinking of moving to Atlanta, here are three unforgivable sins you should look out for. As a heads-up, I’ve committed all of them!

1. Driving at the Speed Limit

No one in Atlanta drives at the speed limit — except me. I know full well that until I’m a citizen, a police officer having a bad day could begin proceedings to have me deported for a speeding ticket. So, while everyone honks wildly behind me, I let my cruise control guide me.

Naturally, there are times when you have no choice but to move with the flow of traffic. But, if you’re not careful, the flow of traffic could have you doing 80 MPH on a 55 MPH stretch of highway with a police squad car speeding in the lane right next to you.

2. Living Outside the Perimeter

Whether you’re online dating or attending meetups, you will hear the terms OTP and ITP quite a bit. These mean Outside the Perimeter and Inside the Perimeter, respectively. All the cool kids live inside the perimeter. The rest are like leprosy and should be avoided at all costs.

I lived ITP until 2016 when purchasing a home in Decatur was just not financially feasible. I don’t regret leaving it behind. I like living in the suburbs. It’s quiet. I actually know my neighbours. My packages never get stolen. And, people almost always obey the speed limit and stop signs. It’s almost like not living in Atlanta.

3. Working on the Weekends

There is something to do in Atlanta every night. No matter what day you go out, you will find people at bars, clubs, restaurants, movies, and the Walmart parking lot! Yet, if you tell people you work on the weekends, you somehow become the friend with the inconvenient schedule. Most of my friends are free during the week, so that’s no longer a problem for me.

I’ve worked weekends since I got my first regular U.S. job in 2016 until I resigned from my position at the end of 2018 to work on my business. I then continued to work weekends anyway. No one wants to work on the weekends, which makes it the perfect opportunity to make easy money if you’re willing to work at least one of the two days.

If you live or have lived in Atlanta, what are some of the social sins you committed that got you ostracized on occasion? If you’re not from Atlanta, what are some of the unforgivable sins in your neck of the woods?

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