Friday, September 01, 2006

Second day

OK, the second day of our trying to sort things out.

We started with our second onslaught of the electric company. Armed with a copy of our lease, passports and 200 bucks, we trooped down to the office for the opening time of 07:45. In we went, and were seen promptly, courteously and efficiently. What a contrast to yesterday. Moral: Go to the electric company first thing in the morning, before they have got tired of the endless stream of people in their office.

Back to the ranch to do the inventory of the apartment. You know the drill, you have to make a note of all the deficiencies and defects so they don't charge you for them when you move out. This took a little while. We took it over to the office along with our shiny new electric account number.

Now it was shopping time. Alan had come across a mention of a shop called Eurway which sold good value modern-style furnishings, so we reckoned we would try it. On arrival, the shop was filled with plenty of shiny things. Much of the furniture was made of metal, glass, brightly painted bold colours etc. We wanted to try their viscoelastic mattresses. This we did, and ended up ordering a bed, mattress and two leather chairs which are due to arrive on Wednesday. Apart from the mattress which we have to wait three weeks for.

Onwards to Linens And Things, where we purchased some mugs, plates and cutlery. We need to eat, right?

Meanwhile, we spoke to Peggy and Lloyd, old friends of ours from when we lived in Austin last time. We are looking forward to seeing them again; hopefully tomorrow.

Round the corner to REI, one of the finest camping stores around. We were in search of mapping software for my GPS but they didn't have any. Alan bought me some sports clothing as a birthday pressie. Thanks, Alan :-)

Lunchtime rumbled around so we headed down to the nearest Thundercloud Subs, where they constructed a fine submarine roll each for us, which we enjoyed outside in the shade by some running water.

Next on to Geico, a motor insurance crowd. We had no idea how much auto insurance was gonig to cost so thought it best to find out before buying a car. Turns out that it's maybe a bit more expensive than in the UK, but not outrageously so. Very little of the final figure depends on the car you drive; you're mostly paying anti-suing clauses. Welcome to America!

Alan wanted to check out the VW Golf GTI so we stopped by the garage. There was one there to look at. Very smart but the car was sold, so we could not do more than sit in it.

Ever onwards, to Target this time, to buy bin liners. The excitement never stops!

South now, to Barton Square Mall and the Apple shop. We needed music, and it's at least six weeks until we get our hi-fi back. Apple stores sell small loudspeakers that you plug iPods directly into. This works a treat and now we have tunes :-)

Now we were shopped out. We had shopped until we dropped for about five hours. Bah! Back to the ranch again, unload the car, raid the fridge for beer. Yum. Necessary. Spent some time sorting out clothes, putting the washing on etc. Time for more beer; let's go out. One final foray for the day, on foot this time, down to Hyde Park Bar and Grill for some tasty food. We started with prawn spring rolls. Alan then had Southern fried chicken breast and I had swordfish for mains. Washed down with Shiner Bock and a local Pilsener.

Now we are back, it's only 20:46 but we're going to bed to read for a while. Partly because the few chairs we have been loaned are covered in clothes hung out to dry - we need a drying rack! - and partly because we are so tired. I do hope the bloke downstairs doesn't start with his drum and bass at 3am like he did last night. I could really do with a good night's sleep.

Tomorrow it is Batfest in Austin - apparently they close Congress bridge and fill it with bands. We will see what this entails. Watch this space...

No comments: