I was looking forward to our time in Knoxville.
The drive to this relatively unknown city was quite eye-opening as it was the first time we had seen proof of the poverty that America can be known for. As we drove through yet more beautiful countryside, there started appearing ramshackle properties complete with old cars that hadn’t had a whiff of a road in decades and the obligatory mangy looking mongrel barking at anything that went by. And it wasn’t too long before we saw the one thing that we’d been both expectant and dreading of. THE REDNECK… Yes, Tennessee is Red Neck country, fo’ sho’. In string vests or dungarees and usually both, these idiosyncratic folk could be seen doing the things that everyday people do, just in a distinct way. The way of the Red Neck! ...
On a serious note though, it is sad seeing the way some people have to live in this, the World’s supposed richest nation, especially when we had just come from something approaching luxury. Houses half-raized, vehicles in states of disrepair, people in tattered clothes. It made me feel incredibly fortunate to come from a country that doesn’t feel like a 3rd World country covered with a first World veil. It was my first real taste of poverty here and it gave me the blues.
—regurgitatin, Saul’s Regurgitations in Foreign Nations, regurgitatin.wordpress.com, March 28, 2011