Saturday, December 12, 2009

Safe At Home Again

Written 12 December, 2009

Safe At Home Again

I rolled into Atlanta at 10:30 last night in a minivan I managed (at no small expense) to rent.

This morning I unpacked the van, rolled the motorcycle into my living room (I have no garage or carport) and took the van back.

That turned out to be an adventure in itself.

You see, while I wasn't looking, they built a HUGE car rental pavilion at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. It's miles from the airport, accessible via a skytrain, and nearly impossible to find from the roads.

I called Dollar car rental's emergency roadside assistance, but they couldn't tell me where to go to turn in the car (it seems the new pavilion has been open only four days. It shows up on GPSs as a blank area.
I couldn't find anyone to give me directions, so I did the desperate thing. I pulled up to the TSA security lot. I knew it was the TSA security gate because instead of those little arm lowerey things there was what was for all practical purposes a bulldozer blade blocking my way. The security guard had sheets with printed instructions to help those who were lost get back to an area in which they wouldn't be shot.

In my flustered state I nearly drove the wrong way across a set of those tire-destroying one-way spikes, and I did back into a fence. The lady who checked in the van charged me a $57 late fee and $7 a gallon for the empty $20 gallon tank. Fortunately the nice man at the Dollar counter made the late fee go away (I told him I had been on the phone with their emergency roadside assistance people before the car was due). I showed him my contract, which clearly stated I had prepaid for the gasoline, and he did away with the $140 gasoline charge.

I caught the MARTA train to Five Points and transfered to an Eastbound train which seemed to stop for five minutes at each station with the doors open. Did I mention it was 34 degrees?

When I finally got off at the Indian Creek station and grabbed a cab, the taxi driver drove away in the wrong direction with the meter running to find a gas station to put air in his tires.

When I got home I subtracted his detour from the taxi bill. He didn't put up a fight. I on the other hand, was good and ready for one, so it's good he didn't give me any guff.

Despite all the temporary problems-- no hot water, no refrigerator, and a Miata that will have to be towed to the garage on Monday, I'm happy to be home.

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