Monday, 4 August 2008

Houston update - hold onto your hats

I've arrived in Houston today after an uneventful 9 1/4 hour flight, apart from a bad back giving me a lot of gyp. I checked the weather forecast at the end of last week, it was suggesting 100 degree temperatures with a chance of showers, which is normal for this time of year. By the time I arrived this afternoon, that has escalated into a Hurricane Warning. Tropical Storm Edouard is in the Gulf of Mexico and will arrive in Houston tomorrow, either as a strong tropical storm or a "junior" Category 1 hurricane. It's a good job I packed an umbrella, although in a news conference this afternoon the Mayor of Houston was hinting to local businesses not to pressure employees into coming into work tomorrow...
Seeing as hurricanes are a fairly common thing round here, they do prepare well for them; the mayor was saying that the binmen will visit as usual tomorrow, as it's good to get the rubbish off the streets before the 60mph winds arrive, but that citizens should be quick to secure those bins once they've been emptied, as they make great missiles once the winds get hold of them. While you're at it, secure your BBQs and patio furniture too.
Other than that, Houston is very much Houston. It's hot and humid, it took nearly two hours to clear immigration, I'm staying "downtown" (i.e. amongst the skyscrapers) in a nice hotel rather than in the sticks, 20 miles away, in a motel-hotel-type thing near the Geotrace office, as the company I'm here to see is "downtown". I've had my two free beers (happy hour is from 5.30 till 8, it's all businessmen, those that aren't up in the rooftop gym, anyway). I'm thinking I'll go for a walk later to the office building where I'm working tomorrow, it's only six blocks, or half a mile, away. Bet I'm the only bugger walking to work tomorrow!
The time difference is 6 hours behind home, so I'll hopefully have a Skype webcam chat with Olga & Lara around 6am here, or noon in Wycombe. I'll have been up for hours by then! As I'm due to leave on Thursday night, I'll just have got over jetlag in time to go home and get it again. Assuming Eduardo lets me out on time......... Read about it here

No comments: