Sunday, September 02, 2007

A Shaky Return …

Our return to New Orleans had a few bumps. The completion date for the house in Metairie shifted to mid-January. The FEMA trailer option would not be available in time. We needed to find a place to stay in the area for the end of December and January, and housing at that time was near impossible to find.

We went online to Craig’s List and extracted phone numbers for the few apartments that roughly met our minimal requirements. Among these requirements was that the place be furnished and the kitchen include dishes, etc. Our few possessions could still fit in our car.

We began to call the list with the strategy that we would take the first one available. It turned out to be a pool house in uptown NO. It would be available until the end of January after which it was committed to a long-term tenant. No problem.

Problem. The completion date for the Metairie house slipped to the end of February; it turned out to drag on until the first of April. We heard about a furnished place in the neighborhood, and negotiated a month-to-month agreement at an exorbitant rate.

We also had to buy a car to replace mine, which had drowned. We shopped for a car in Columbus, picked the model I wanted, and got a rough price. I then called a dealer in NO whose price was $2,000 higher than the same car would be in Columbus; he said the demand for cars in NO was so great that he had no reason to offer any discounts. The closest I could find a good price was Birmingham.

We bought some furniture for the Metairie house including a “killer” home theatre. We knew that this was only an interim arrangement so we did not hang any pictures or display any decorative items. It was rather sterile but it was the closest thing to home we had known in the seven months since Katrina.


jbv's Competitive Edge 


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