The East Cobb Expat

Our welcome to the ‘hood pack says they think this will be the best place we’ve ever lived.

Of course I use the term ‘hood without a prefix because I don’t want to get into a fight with my new neighbors as they choose to refer to themselves. Arguing about ‘proper english’ vs North American english reminds me of when I was sixteen and had a thirty minute argument with my twelve year old cousin about aluminium vs aluminum, when I was living as a guest in his house and his country. I couldn’t be the bigger person and let it go then, I’m not sure twenty five years or so has changed me much. So best not to start down that road this early in my relationship with our new country of domicile and its residents.

In the interests of anonymity for my new neighbours – much in the same vein as Wendy Wax’s character Vivien wrote her Postcards from Suburbia column about her East Cobb experiences in Magnolia Wednesdays (an apparent must read for new arrivals) under the pseudonym  Scarlett Leigh, I will just say we have moved into a ‘sought after swim/tennis community’ somewhere in East Cobb county, Atlanta, Georgia.  There are many to choose from so I don’t fear giving away my exact location.


A swim/tennis community is exactly what it sounds like. A small group of conjoined streets and cul-de-sacs with a central clubhouse, swimming pool with life guard and heart starting equipment alongside tennis courts on which I imagine many a ‘domestic goddess’ in appropriate dress, more old school Wimbledon than Serena Williams, glistens (never sweats) in the early morning or late afternoon to improve her tennis game and engage in social chit-chat.

I have more than once described our South African golf estate living  as a mix between Pleasantville, the Truman Show and Wisteria Lane. While admitting its very early days yet, I fear it may fall far short in the long run in comparison to our time as East Cobb Expats.

Included in the welcome pack along with our own set of registration forms to complete is a comprehensive list of those who live in the community, their addresses (physical and email), names and occupations, schools and pets. There is a separate attached list that specifically identifies those who are happy to help out as Babysitters, Mother’s Helpers (no definition of this but I am wondering if it includes ironing sheets), Pet sitters, House sitters and Yard workers.

It seems we are on the same block as two ‘Domestic Goddesses’ and one ‘Household manager’ and a Ballroom Dance Instructor. I have to pause here and wonder if Magnolia Wednesdays was in fact fiction – what are the odds of a Ballroom Dance Instructor?  Around the corner there is a bearded dragon called Malisa Bob and a little along from there a Guinea Pig called Lightning. Also residing in our community are a wide assortment of cats, cock-a-poos, a gecko and plenty of regular old-school ‘dogs’. I don’t know about you but I am excited as all get-out to meet my new neighbours/bors .  Just struggling with my own directory title as I am not at all domestic after nine years as a pampered expat princess living in countries with excessive amounts of household help and a goddess in no way at all. I was thinking Queen of some description – probably drama, social media addict and serial expat. Do you think that moniker would have the domestic goddesses baking cookies and pies to drop round in welcome just to see who the new crazy family were in the street?

In closing I would like to leave you with a thought that we are presented with every time we drive out of our beautifully manicured suburban residential location – Y’all go and Make a Great Day!

13 responses to “The East Cobb Expat

  1. Oh God – it sounds more like a prison than a neighbourhood! Maybe it’s just me, I’m such a private person that sounds like my worst nightmare. I can see how if you were new somewhere that kind of thing would at least make you feel like you knew people and could give you a starting point to conversations. Better you than me though. ; )

    • Its all part of the experience – and culture shock! I think you can be private too if you like. There are houses listed with just names only – no further info. Perhaps you could live with that? ;)

      • I suppose I’m just to used living somewhere where gated communities as such don’t exist – I’d be wondering what was outside the area that was so dangerous. And nope, wouldn’t like the names either – why do you think I blog under a psuedonym. :) I clearly need to go and live in the 70′s again!

      • just to clarify there are no actual gates here, the residents and any visitors or curious passers by are free to come and go as they please ;) – there were though in South Africa which is more understandable.

  2. No, not a prison – this is America! You have to have lived there to actually miss it after reading this column. Love the directory, down to the pets, lol. American women are so well organized. To think that there is always someone who will volunteer to make that directory. Imagine proposing that to a South African housewife?
    Well done Nikki. I SO love reading about your American life through expat eyes.
    “Do you think that moniker would have the domestic goddesses baking cookies and pies to drop round in welcome just to see who the new crazy family were in the street?” – you had me giggling at this.
    Can’t wait to hear more.

    • Glad to give you a giggle. I think I will definitely include Social Media addict and professional expat and see what happens. You can find out what happens right here.

  3. Really? A list? Just a little too organised for me… imagine they knew you blogged ;)

  4. very funny! And we thought MECC was bad!

  5. You absolutely must give them that title, Nikki – if nothing else, it’ll pique their interest (and you just might get some pies…Georgia peach, if you’re lucky!).

    I’m glad to hear y’all are getting to know the new neighbors/ours (a little creepy how much you know already, without meeting them…we’ve lived in our house three years and barely know three of ours, just on a first-name basis).

    FYI – a mother’s helper (as I’ve recently learned myself) seems to fall somewhere between a babysitter and a Gal Friday – they kind of help you out with the kids/home, with some supervision, usually while you’re home (but not always). Here’s a good explanation: http://childcare.about.com/od/inhomecareglossary/f/motherhelper.htm. Y’all come back now, y’hear?

    • Lisa – I am handing in my forms tomorrow – I’ll let you know what I decided on for my ‘title’ ;) But I do want to let you know we have received our first ‘Welcome to the Neighbourhood’ bakery treat & accompanying visit even without me handing in the forms.

  6. And the title is…. ????

    • The title sadly wasn’t accepted in the official record. It turns out you can be – Family CEO, Domestic Goddess, Stay at Home Mom, Homemaker and Boss but you can’t be Project Manager, Social Media Enthusiast and Undomestic Goddess. I am a little dejected – Project Manager is not designed to bring the baking neighbours around asap. We’ll see now the official email has gone out welcoming us to the ‘hood.

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