John Robertson - Atlanta Day 1

Jan and I went to get coffee at the airport and we weren't paying attention. They left us. We were abandoned in Atlanta. -- so after a few moments of reorganization, we shifted poor plan to take the MARTA, Atlanta's underground. There right beyond the baggage claim there was the MARTA entrance. A very helpful motherly ticket agent helped us pay our $1.75 and enter the system. Getting on the train was just like getting on any city's mass transit at the airport, a mass of bags and confused people. On the train a well dressed white woman asked Jan and I for directions, the blind leading the blind. There were many obvious Atlantans on the train but they were not well dressed White people. It was one of those moments, and so predictable. I asked a young African American man a question. He took his head phones off and gave me the information I needed.

I ride the NYC subway all the time. What struck me about MARTA at noon on Saturday was how poor the people were. Whether teens or mothers with children or men or women, everyone looked tattered and drawn. Life looked like it was very hard. We transferred trains. There were maybe 150 people on the platform. Everyone was poor. I asked people about this. They told me that in Atlanta you need a car. Only those who can not afford a car can use MARTA on Saturday. A picture of America: Very poor people left alone in a system while everyone else whizzes by in their car

John Robertson

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