First, let me tell you our story.
We were supposed to close on our New Orleans house on September 6th.
So I was leaving NOLA on August 27. I was flying American to Chicago and then BA to Prague via London to meet the wife and kids. Somehow, BA didn’t transfer the info to AA. So at MSY, I’m standing in line at American, and they don’t have clue one about me. I give them my printed BA itinerary, and the person at the desk finally got through to BA.
Well, BA messed up.
So the person at AA gives me a one way ticket to Chicago, and checks my bags. It’s 15 minutes before the flight.
My close personal friends, that brain pool, that think tank that we refer to as TSA decide that since I have a one-way ticket, I must be a terrorist. So I get behind the 4 guys in line waiting to get frisked. I tell them that I have to catch a flight. They showed their typical concern.
Finally, I get through. The flight was gone. The next flight, the last one out that day (Saturday, 2 days pre-K) was completely booked. They put me on standby, but told me that it was doubtful I could make it.
I call BA, and they admitted fault, and said I was completely booked for tomorrow, if today’s standby didn’t work. I took my chances with standby.
Guess what? The I-10 W exodus occurred, and most of the passengers on my flight to Chicago were in traffic when it took off. Thanks for that. When I got to Chicago, they had one of my bags on that flight, and the other was on the prior flight. I had to fetch them, and recheck at the BA counter.
BA had no clue what was about to become of NOLA, and no sympathy for my plight, at every stage of checkin. They still have no clue.
Finally, I get to Prague, and watch everything unfold on the internet.
So when we’re coming back to the US, once again, BA cannot understand why I don’t want to verify my flight to New Orleans, as it no longer exists.
Finally, as we were supposed to fly from Dulles to New Orleans on the last leg via United, a United guy realizes our plight, and puts us on a flight from London direct to Chicago. Business class. Thanks, United.
So we live in the Residence Inn for a week, and bleed money. All our stuff was in storage, and both cars were in long term parking at the MSY airport.
Finally, with nothing happening in NOLA, and no idea if our house-to-be still exists, we move into an unfurnished 3br in Chicago. $2k a month, 3 month lease, I can deal with. The people with the furnished apartments wanted $4k a month for that special refugee rate. Die, leeches, die.
The people we were buying the house from wanted to bail, so they could list it again at that special post-K price. Fortunately, my realtor, Tommy Crane, had a little known codicil in the Faber constitution…er…a little known clause in the contract: “In the event of a natural disaster (i.e. hurricane), both parties agree to extend the contract until 3 days after the buyer can obtain insurance.”
If you noticed, the house is on piers with no basement. We got no water. We were lucky...way lucky, and we know it.
So, I closed November 4, and this Thursday, the whole fam should be in the new digs. My 3 year old doesn’t have to tell kids that her house blew away “like Big Bird’s” (this is how Sesame Street explained about Katrina), and we can start living out of our home instead of suitcases, like we have since March 10.
Seriously, me, my wife, and 2 children have lived out of 10 suitcases (one of which was a guitar) since March 10.
I just hope NOLA is still NOLA. I think it will be.
When I was in town to close on the house, I drove down to eat at K-Paul's. I told Chef Paul that I was supposed to close on September 6. He said, "I bet you're glad you didn't." I said "Are you kidding, I'm closing tomorrow".
He started laughing and said "New Orleans needs more people like you". That's when this picture was taken.
Thanks, Chef. We need you, too.
So, how many people do you know that have moved TO New Orleans since Katrina?
Yeah, me neither.