Daily Archives: August 28, 2002

U-Haul

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There are things you forget about and don’t miss when you’ve owned a home for a while (in fact, 11 years, I think) is apartment life, especially moving. Especially moving. And if I did move now, I would do what I did last time, hire big burly men to move it all. I moved just about nothing. Know why? Not big and burly. So when I finally got U-Haul to admit that the hitch I ordered was in, I went down to get it installed yesterday.
Our U-Haul is something of a landmark, highly visible from the river in an old 9- or 10-story hardware factory, with a big spinning U-Haul truck on the roof. Everyone in Albany knows where the U-Haul is. Getting there is another matter, because it’s on a section of Broadway that is one-way, and to get to the head of the one-way section, you have to drive all the way up to the Port and then come back down through a tangle of accidental streets without signs or much by the way of signals. But I’d found it before, and I found it again. What I didn’t realize, and what I would have instinctively known if I were still in apartment land, is that this is the last week of the month. Worse, the last week of August. Making it moving week for a billion people who can’t afford to hire big burly men. And these people are tired, and they don’t want to do this. And they are at the U-Haul, where there are two people to help them. Those two people were as helpful as they could be, under the circumstances. But the general ambience of a U-Haul store, where they don’t really splurge on the furnishings, the thematic color is a garish orange, and the surrounding merchandise is bubble wrap and flattened cardboard boxes, . . . well, it’s not Starbucks. And it’s not helping. I felt like I was trapped in a bus station, another place I haven’t been in in quite some time (since before I could afford the services of U-Haul). People of uncertain means are confronting challenging transitions in the most depressing, undesigned space possible (just like a bus station, but without the terrible coffee). No wonder the staff couldn’t quite get it together to tell me when my order was in, or when my truck was ready, or anything at all, really.
On the other hand, I’ve now got a nifty hitch so I can load up bikes on the back of the truck.