My time in Atlanta is almost over and much has happened, as you might have seen on my stories on Instagram.
I arrived here Thursday night and was welcomed by my friend Ben’s parents in their beautiful house in Dunwoody in Northern Atlanta. I have had plenty of time to acclimatize with extended runs through the neighborhood, plenty of class reunion activities on the Emory campus, wonderful dinners with my hosts and my law school friend Jeff, and ultimately, with my friend Ben, who has safely steered his new Beechcraft Bonanza across the Atlantic Ocean and has arrived in Atlanta this afternoon.
My mind is already overflowing with impressions of these last few days, including many expected and unexpected encounters with Americans, who have made me welcome here, as they always do. It is this great gift of the American way of life, that makes it so easy for the newcomer to integrate. I am particularly thinking of the group of ’92 L alumni, who had adopted me throughout the Emory Alumni weekend and took me along wherever they went, be it the Limerick Junction Bar or the Carlos Museum with a respectable collection. They made sure, I did not feel left out, and I got to connect with very kind and caring colleagues who are practicing in various industries and different parts of the country.
What I also enjoyed very much was driving through Atlanta and its rolling hills and windy streets through the luscious green Atlantan vegetation with its blossoming magnolia trees. I had almost forgotten how dear some of its quarters had been to me back in the days, and not only because of their wonderful names such as Virginia Highlands, North Druid Hills, Lullwater or Buckhead, all of this embedded in the Southern swing, a friendly lightness that makes this place special.
I came to realize that the combination of this atmosphere, together with an inspiring academic journey at Emory and the friendships I was able to build 20 years ago, have marked my life more than I thought. Even more so when my dear friend Jeff came to see me from Charleston on Saturday to spend not even 24 intense hours with me, walking the old paths and venting the inner chambers of the soul.
Now that Ben has arrived, a new chapter of this journey begins. We will be flying out to New Orleans tomorrow morning. An amazing adventure lies ahead of us as our final destination is Los Angeles. I thank Ben’s parents Sharon and Max for their kind and most generous hospitality and all other Atlantans, who have made this short visit another golden moment for my remembrance treasury!