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The Most Inconvenient Place I’ve Ever Been

I am currently on a business trip in Houston, Texas… or The Most Inconvenient Place I’ve Ever Been. If this were a vacation I would laugh and roll my eyes and then sit outside somewhere, if I could find a place that was open, and drink many drinks in the warm and lovely humidity (which I actually like in small doses, turns out Houston’s weather is not at all my biggest gripe). And because I’m really tired here are just the highlights of the many inconveniences I’ve experienced.

  • My hotel is 20 minutes’ outside of the city, which is no fault of Houston’s… but it makes this week of driving and figuring out the GPS and not crashing into other cars way more stressful than it should be.
  • My hotel is a shit hole that’s trying to snazz itself up as some sort of extended-stay-all-suites-with-a-kitchenette-for-convenience thing. Could be convenient! But the loud as fuck (yet necessary) air conditioning, the water being turned off during the day, the construction, the flood-making fucked up shower head, and the gross-out factor (who killed a large bug while on the phone with Kathleen today? Me.) make this sleeping arrangement also really stressful.
  • And then I had to go and whack my rental car into a curb and bend the wheel, deflating the tire, sending me into major panic-holy-shit-I-fucked-upness. Sobbing on the phone to Kamel while I choked out, “It’s allll my fauullttt,” has definitely been the highlight of my week.
  • Then the new found anxiety of having to now drive on a spare tire to and from the office AND navigate new and confusing streets AND deal with a vague and shoddy GPS who keeps re-routing me even though I haven’t switched streets or missed a turn? That’s just icing on the gravy.
  • Did you know that downtown Houston is a ghost town? Most of the cafes and shops close at 3:00 pm and I couldn’t, for the life of me, find a Starbucks. I’m not even THAT big into Starbucks, and I don’t drink coffee, but I feel like while traveling they are a beacon of hope in a sea of new and overwhelming options. I also can’t find a Walgreens or a CVS – both of which are so plentiful in San Francisco there are 2 on one block and 2 right across the street from each other. IT. IS. MARVELOUS.

You know what the best part of Houston is? THE PEOPLE! Everyone in the office is so lovely, my direct coworkers freaking make my DAY! And I’ve gotten to hang out with Rachelle twice already, and then today I’m going to a soccer game with her! And!! AND! I got to meet Becky! So for all of that, it’s been excellent… it’s just the other stuff that’s totally a traumatic pain in my ass. Oh Houston….


  1. Travel for work is never all that fun or all that nice. The best part is the people and that is wonderful. They can make or break a trip out of town. Keep laughing and just remember it is only a week.

    love you tons

  2. You know, the ghost town thing is the only non-Lauren-specific thing on that list : ) Sorry you are having issues! That always stinks. Hopefully BBQ and beer and the Dynamo will make up for a little of it!

    • Ha! You’re right. Thank god for our adventures this week! :) :)

  3. Oh, Houston traffic. Yiiiiiikes. My roommate is from Lake Jackson (about an hour south of Houston) and when she got married last year we flew into Houston and it was a nightmare. I think we almost died like forty times just trying to get back to the airport. Eeps!

    I hope it gets better for you! :)

    • *former college roommate. Hah.

      • and I’m not even a terrible driver. I’ve never even gotten a speeding ticket! thank you for validating my anxiety! hahaha

  4. The traffic here in Houston gives me anxiety pretty much every day, so I can’t imagine doing it on a spare tire in a rental car! But hey, sounds like it’s not all bad, especially with nice co-workers. :)

    • Yes! The people are definitely a perk and I wish I could keep them all in my pocket.

  5. “icing on the gravy”

    Oh shudder what a disgustingly vivid description. PERFECT.

    Sorry your trip sucks :( >>hugs<<

  6. I’m, like, totally empathizing.

    Fort Worth and Dallas are the same way — everything’s okay, but it’s hugely inconvenient. Fuck a place with no parking OR public transit. You have to have one of those things, it’s, like, a rule.

  7. I know our Downtown does suck. I would highly recommend taking a trip to midtown next time you are here. It stays alive after 3pm and onward.

  8. Totally un-Houston related, but if you need some cheering up/something great to read, I have been following @NYerFiction which is tweeting a new Jennifer Egan short story. Fab. Plus, it comes on at 8pm EST so it will give you something to do at night after everything closes.

  9. Yes, here in Texas no one walks anywhere ever, so even more time spent in your rental car with the spare tire! I can’t believe you didn’t mind the humidity. Ugh.

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Who the hell is she?


Seattle/Writer/Adventurer/Married to Kamel/Maker of many mistakes/Mom of 1 Gabriel and 1 TBD/Baker of things/Roaster of Vegetables/Maker of videos/Normal life photographer/Romantic/Irreverent/Honest

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