I have resolved to collect as many stories as possible when traveling, talking to everyone everywhere, and listening, listening, listening. As a result I've heard amazing things—and I'll collect them here on my blog for future reference, as many as I can. Here are four stories of the four women I met in Atlanta, with their four dreams.
I'm geographically challenged, so even though I have my phone with a gazillion apps and the map printed out on top of it, I always feel lost until I can visually tell where I am. I did somehow find my way to the train from the Airbnb house, but the platform was deserted save for a woman with a high hairdo, bright red knee socks, and a clear plastic bag. We gazed at one another for a moment, I asked her what station I should get off to get to the World Congress Trade Center, and since that moment we couldn't shut up. Taken in by a sudden throng of shouting people also dressed in red (later I found out it was the Falcons colors for the game), Tia companionably hooked her arm into mine and told me she's a little tipsy, but hell, it's Sunday and her day off and it's a game, and she can make herself feel good if she wanted to. Tia is from Alabama (I hope I remember that right). She works at a bakery, the night shift, baking bread and pastries before it opens, and she turns on loud music and dances to it, but now they're moving her to the morning shift, and she doesn't like that, people and loud noises and all. "That's slavery," she said. She explained she meant that it was all about "them" getting rich and her getting none of that, and "them" not showing respect to her. "I want to open my own bakery." She smiled, showing a pair of golden teeth, and I was reminded of Russia—the golden teeth was a sign of wealth, and their owners proudly displayed them, grinning. If not for Tia's brown skin, I'd start talking to her in Russian, swearing and all. "I want my bakery to have a no-cell-phone hour, mmmm-mmm," she nodded to me. Tia's dream is to get moms and kids to talk again. I told Tia I'm a writer, and she called her friend of 20+ years, a single mom who wrote her first book. I encouraged her friend to check out my blog and email me for self-publishing help. And then I had to get off the train and was swept up by the game crowd.Read More