Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dealers and Winos and Pimps - Oh, My!

This week my daughter is on Spring Break and we try to go somewhere every year. A few years ago, Christian and I went to Cleveland to visit the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame. Great trip. Two years ago, Kirsten and I ventured to New York to see the Tim Burton exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art. I could write a dozen different posts about the times we had on that trip.

This year, we planned to go to Nashville, Tennessee. We were only going to stay for a few days since we are taking a trip to Portland this summer for a wedding. Nashville would be a short inexpensive trip, but still something to do on her Spring Break. However, our plans got changed.

One of our friends died a few days ago, so we changed our Spring Break plans to go to Indianapolis for the funeral. We packed up last night and left this morning to get here in time to see a little of the city before going back to the hotel room.

Once we got checked in, we decided we should locate the funeral home for the next day. According to Google Maps, it was less than 15 minutes from the hotel (4.7 miles). We hopped in the van ready to find the funeral home and then start checking out the city. It's almost a straight shot from the hotel, but it may not have been the safest route.

A few days ago, when  I contacted a friend from the area about hotels, he stated not to get a hotel in the area of the cemetery. He said it was not a part of town we would want to spend the night in. This is why our hotel was so far away; he was concerned about the neighborhood. As we drove further in, I quickly understood his concerns.

The buildings were falling down and I counted half a dozen drug deals as we drove through with our windows up. We kept the windows up for safety reasons and because the area smelled like a mixture of disability checks and gunpowder.

We found the cemetery without any difficulty and went in to confirm where the services would be since the place was so big. After getting the information we needed, we hopped in the van to head to a nearby museum. After backing out of my space the van died and would not start again.

It was just after 5 o'clock, so I had trouble finding any place that was open to help. I finally located a service that would tow my vehicle for free if they got the business. However, they could not send anyone until morning. The funeral home agreed that I could leave the van there for the night.

Being the beautiful day that it was, we decided to walk back. It was less than five miles, I sill had the Google Maps printout that we could follow backwards and being a country boy, I just can't bring myself to spring for a cab. We started walking. About ten minutes into our journey, I remembered what we had driven through to get here.

Someone destroyed this church
As soon as I realized we were in the same area that we had rolled the windows up in earlier, we were approached by the first of many people that needed money for a variety of reasons. His was for food at Dairy Queen (not joking). Another wanted to buy cigarettes, one lady was insistent that she needed change for a dollar, and another guy wanted money to help find his dog. I still don't understand that one, but he really didn't understand it either, so I didn't feel too bad.

They even killed SPIDERMAN!!
We had planned to eat after leaving the cemetery and were getting very hungry, but Kirsten was unwilling to enter any of the eating establishments we passed. I can't say I blamed her. We kept our heads down and smiled when we did make eye contact with someone. Kirsten, convinced she was going to die very soon, sang These Are a Few of My Favorite Things to distract from the situation she was in.

We stepped over the broken bottles and needles, sidestepped the winos, ran from stray dogs and dodged the beggars, all while avoiding traffic. On three separate occasions someone called for us to come to them. Twice into an alley and once from their front door. We got very good at playing deaf and looking straight ahead.

After about an hour of walking, we began to see signs that we were coming out on the other side. The condition of the roads began to improve, there were more houses with intact windows and the sound of screaming was getting further away.

I was overtaken by local wildlife once.
It took us about 90 minutes to get back to the hotel and we began to go over our agenda for the next day. Tomorrow morning, we have to check out of this hotel and get back to our vehicle. Despite the night's experience, we will be walking back through the area we just came from. However, this time we will be carrying our stuff. Just like the Dread Pirate Wesley and Princess Buttercup in the Fire Swamp, we now know the secrets of the area and can survive there for many years if needed.

We have to get back to the van before they tow it at 8:30 to put our  stuff into it. We must then stay for the funeral and then somehow find our way to wherever it is being worked on. Hopefully, it will be fixed tomorrow, so we will have a vehicle again.

Getting back to the hotel was the easiest part of this. I expect the worst parts to come tomorrow. Getting back to the vehicle. Getting to the garage (which is on the other side of town). Getting around while it is being worked on. I really don't know what to expect. Tune in tomorrow for the rest of the story.

51 comments:

  1. Damn dude sorry about your loss, as well as the inconvenience.

    Perhaps a cab wouldn't be the worst idea tomorrow? I would like to see you stay alive to write another post.

    Be safe.

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    1. A cab would make for a boring post, but you are absolutely right.

      I have enough blog fodder for a few more posts out of this experience. We are going to see how we feel in the morning. Believe it or not, we actually had fun

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    2. That's good! I'm glad you could turn the Spring Break trip into something.

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  2. You know, it doesn't surprise me that you were born on April Fool's Day somehow, you have such a great sense of humor. And I bet Kristin loves having you for a dad.

    I used to live in Indiana - no offense Hoosiers, well actually, okay, a little offense, but Indiana sucks. Ever been to Gary, Indiana? The glorious South Bend, Indiana? Pretty similar to Indy I am sure. Bloomington is alright I guess. But it always amazed me how much nicer Michigan just FELT. Like I just felt the misery of Indiana envelope me and 5 miles away I instantly felt better. More flowers, porches, people taking care of their lawn, and just a more laid back feel. This wasn't anywhere near Detroit, of course, but still I think Michigan is groovy and Indiana sucks. Anyway. I know the pain you went through. When I lived in Indiana, I moved several times in 7 years. Each place someone knocked on my door asking for money :( And the Klan marched through town without any protest.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. The April Fools birthday, was an April Fool's joke. Sorry. I changed my Facebook birthday on March 31st to collect birthday wishes. I am using them as a down payment on a car.

      I have really only seen south central Indiana. Evansville to Indianapolis and all the small town between there and the Illinois border. I haven't really spent enough time in it to have a good or bad opinion of it.

      Kirsten and I do have a lot of fun together.

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    2. I'm a Hoosier! It's only the bigger cities that sucks.... ok who am I kidding? The only good thing to come out of Indiana is Colts football... and me!

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    3. I have family in northern Indiana, and in central Indiana, and I think if you're basing your opinion on Gary and South Bend, yeah, it probably does suck.

      Visiting my parents in the southern part has always been very relaxing to me, and the people are all warm and friendly, that I know!

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    4. I've not really come across any areas of Indiana that I don't like. There are these spots in the big cities, but that is all big cities.

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  3. Brett, sorry about your friend - and I'm glad to know that you guys survived the walk through the fire swamp. I'm sure Wesley and Buttercup would be proud. And although not the point of this post - Princess Bride is such a great movie. I absolutely love it.

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  4. Maybe take a cab.

    Wesley and Buttercup knew the fireswamp, but they surrendered to the Prince's guards when they had crossbow.

    Sorry for your loss mate.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. That is true. You just destroyed my analogy.

      At the very least, I believe we are going to stay in the hotel another night, so we don't have to haul all of our stuff around.

      Thank you

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  5. So sorry for your loss. It sounds like you were able to find a silver lining in a bad situation....twice. Being a country girl, I understand the aversion to a cab, but unless your stuff include your shot gun and your hunting dog, I'd recommend a cab....or a bus....or something.

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    1. Thank you. We are going to ask at the desk today. We will figure something out.

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  6. Sorry to hear about your friend Brett, my heart goes out to you.

    This experience sounded like a total nightmare! I tried to envisage what I would do in the same situation.

    Though I thought your daughter singing, 'These are a few of my favourite things,' to distract from the situation and the line," smelled like a mixture of disability checks and gunpowder" very funny.

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    1. Thank you. She likes to sing. We got lost on foot in Queens, New York at three in the morning and she belted out the entire soundtrack to the Rocky Horror Picture Show as we found our way back.

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  7. I am sorry to hear that your friend passed away. That's always difficult, and then your van slipped into a comma. You must be so stressed out. Maybe one of those kind folks would be willing to give you a massage for a few dollars.

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    Replies
    1. That is a good idea. We may head back over there and try it tonight.

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  8. Sorry for your loss. I live in Indiana, it's not so bad once you get out of the major cities. I think I know of this neighborhood you speak of in Indy. I was leaving from a Colts game once and made a wrong turn. I heard some gunshots and saw some people running. I didn't think I was going to make it out alive!

    2 years later after another Colts game, I made the same wrong turn!

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    1. I like Indiana. Any big city has these issues, but I like the state.

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    2. Our hotel is right next to the Colts stadium. About 8 blocks away is the beginning of the area I am talking about. It was probably the same place.

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    3. Sounds like the same place then!

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  9. I can never feel bad for your situations because you make them so funny! Love the pics!

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    1. Thank you. If we didn't laugh, it would be maddening.

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  10. Aw man, sorry about your friend Brett. You guys be careful, and take a cab!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. We have still avoided cabs at this point, but have even more stories.

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  11. You would have done so much better if you had walked with the appropriate swagga! Not as many people would have asked for money. It is all about the walk see....

    www.sweetydarlin.blogspot.com

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    1. I know I don't have the right walk. I will have to practice this.

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  12. Boy, I wish I knew what Spiderman was doing in the Fire Swamp. ...maybe an ROUS got him.

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    1. Rodents of Unusual Size? I don't think those exist.

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  13. Smelled like disability checks and gunpowder. Priceless!

    Perhaps taking public transportation would produce additional blog fodder without the imminent threat of physical harm.
    Oh wait. Nevermind.

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    Replies
    1. I haven't yet decided which would be worse.

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  14. This is a reminder to me, that Taylor is not allowed to go on any trips with you and Kirsten. Please stay safe.

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    Replies
    1. I totally understand. We are back in the room again and safe.

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  15. I'm so sorry about your friend. Maybe you could take a bus?

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    1. We braved it the next morning. Everyone was asleep. It was pretty uneventful.

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  16. oh my... sound like my old neighborhood in kc lol

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  17. Sometimes playing deaf and not looking is the wrong option to take. It's rare that it doesn't work, but it pays to know when it'll fall flat. I'm really interested on how the trip transpired.

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    Replies
    1. It's covered in the next two posts. The weekend worked out sort of. It had other frustrations, but we got home okay.

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  18. Ok, so I see you ALL over the blogs that I read so I finally decided to check you out. This one was funny, gonna read the next now.
    Also, crap, you reply to every comment!
    Also too, I live in Nashville, come on down! :)
    Devan

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    1. Thank you for stopping in. We would love to come down to Nashville. I have only been there once and it was for a wedding, so I didn't really see much of the city. It always helps when you know someone there who can tell you all the cool places to go.

      Thank you. I might take you up on it.

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  19. O.M.G. that is unbelievable! You are a great friend! And I love that she sang "Favorite things" LOL

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    1. She sings when she gets bored or scared or happy or awake. Happens all the time. I mentioned it in an earlier comment but she sang the entire soundtrack to the Rocky Horror Picture Show when we got lost on foot in Queens.

      She makes stressful situations more fun.

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  20. Such experiences are what memories are made of! ;)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for understanding. I think that's why I find myself in so many of these situations.

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