I did not really become as well-acquainted with Houston as with other cities in my day- I had to stick close to the airport for my short stay and therefore was unable to venture out and let my inner-tourist out to annoy the locals. However, I can still say that it was an interesting time. I was rather excited as I boarded the plane that would bring me to yet another unknown destination, especially as I took note of the cowboy hats adorned by so many of the passengers returning home. The flight was decent; no turbulence that I thought would bring me to my death this time, and relatively amiable seat neighbors.
When I landed I got even more excited, and you can imagine I was like a little kid when I heard all of the accents spouting out a southern “y’all” every other word. Then came the cab ride to the hotel. Now, I have had horrendous cab drivers, if you recall from my Chicago experience, and some really friendly and cheerful ones as well. This particular driver did not fall into either category. Immediately upon our departure, I became (against my will, mind you) a therapist at his disposal for him to rant and rave about his boss to. This was not your run-of-the-mill kind of complaining, but more like a difficult-to-understand string of angry insults about his boss to which I merely responded “I understand”, and “wow, that sucks, I‘m sorry”, whenever he would let me interject at all.
Then he did a complete 180 and started talking about God, and how angry he was that one of his kids was not serving Him. He said that thankfully, three of them were, but one was not, and he refused to say anything more about the black sheep child. Even after being the great listener that I was he still screwed me over and passed the hotel intentionally. It is pretty obvious that he knew exactly where it was- this guy really needed to hone his acting skills when he pretended to be shocked that he missed the turn. His little “error” cost me an additional dollar or two. So, that came out of his tip. He loses out in the end.
I was happy to be in the hotel and was not going to let that guy get to me. The weather was phenomenal though I admit a bit muggy. So phenomenal, in fact, that I decided to try the outdoor pool only to the immediate shock of my lower body as I leapt into the shallow end, an action which resulted in a run on the treadmill instead. The hotel was nice, but I am pretty sure that there was no system whatsoever to clean and disinfect the workout machines, so that was rather repulsive, but I just had a good long shower to cleanse myself of I can’t imagine what kind of germs afterwards. Looking out my window, I realized that I was in a part of Houston where there is essentially nothing to do. Yet, my growling stomach reminded me painfully that it had been a good long time since I had eaten. So, I set out to see what there was as far as food venues along the street that appeared to be surrounded by nothing but hotels and gas stations.
I ended up dining alone at Subway, and then went to the hotel bar next door to my hotel (which was not cool enough to have a hotel bar). Has anyone ever said “hotel” more in one sentence? Anyways, I love that it is not awkward to sit alone and have a beer at a hotel bar because that is basically what everyone there does. I ended up chatting it up with the guy next to me who was there on business and then we parted our ways never to meet again. I watched Conan and then spent the next 8 hours attempting to sleep through the seemingly unsubsiding noises of cars whizzing past my windows, motorcycles which badly needed mufflers, and crying room neighbors. All I can say is at least I woke up to waffles shaped like Texas no one can be upset seeing that on their plate. Somehow, that made everything better. Stay tuned for part two of my Houston adventure!