Travel Notes, Part C

Technically speaking, what I write here is no longer travel notes, but notes to end out the “series.” It has so far been two full days for us in Houston, and as the clock strikes midnight, strikes my wife’s birthday.

These are days of unpacking and organizing, cleaning, and so on. Exhausting. Can you say U-Haul? What a terrible, terrible company. They are at the top of the shit heap, and I told them so. More precisely—”If you pass me around to five more ‘specialists’ to ask my name and address—who do little else—I’m going to come down there and burn the place to the ground,” said I. Everything is extremely difficult with them and you get the idea that they do just about anything to get by.

In the beginning, they did not hold true to my reservation. The truck from three weeks back was not there, and so they made me get on the 1-800 number myself and fix up what they had broken. Finally, after an hour of waiting on hold and some serious bitching, they relented to giving me a 17′ truck at the price of the 14′. When I went to pick it up the next morning, however, the price was hiked up an extra one hundred dollars, which I of course objected to and they brought back down.

The truck drove fine on the road, and we were glad for it. As we neared Houston, our excitement rose. Thirty miles from our destination we heard a clanging and sure enough, the back inside tire blew out. They told us over the phone that they would come out the next morning, to leave the truck there and go home. Even though it was only eight in the evening, they gave us the serious run-around. We decided to take the truck back out on the highway for a slow crawl into Pearland.

Yesterday, they sent a guy out to put on a new tire. Today, we took it in. It was becoming an eyesore.

In the midst of unpacking, we took a break for lunch, headed out to the bank and the local Indian restaurant. As we were stopped there at the light, we heard some kind of noise under the car. Turns out a cat from the neighborhood was under there. He had latched on, but was now loose, sitting on the pavement underneath and crying its head off. We backed up rows and rows of traffic as it switched from car to car. Mam, Sir, Please roll your window down so I can tell you there’s a cat under your goddamn vehicle. Do NOT move. We had to catch the poor thing two times as he managed to escape and create more havoc. So Theron and I set into the restaurant with dirt and grease on our hands and, hungry as bandits, overate.

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