It had been 5-years since I was last in Texas. Houston – a city I called home for nigh on 20-years – is where ComTech has its home. Well, Sugar Land actually just outside of Houston. I had never actually visited our office there. Last week, I did.
I flew Lufthansa from Frankfurt to Houston on an Airbus A380. I had never actually been on one but recalled standing with Patrick in London watching one fly into Heathrow. It looked huge and unwieldy – not the sort of plane I’d like to fly on at all. How wrong you can be. It is spacious, quiet and comfortable. Quite an amazing airplane in all.
My trip to Texas was mostly about visiting my sons who all still live there but I did make room for some business and that trip to the office. Houston is a sprawling city – huge and full of cars. Cars and trucks. The traffic is absolutely appalling and significantly worse than it was last time I was there. Having lived so long in a small city in Europe where I can walk or tram everywhere, I missed sidewalks and public transportation. My little rental car felt positively dangerous – Patrick called it a skateboard and he wasn’t far wrong. I seemed to spend as much time in the car as anything else getting from one place to another.
It was good to see Patrick. The office is small but pretty much what I had expected – functional with good facilities. We visited a couple of clients together and I was again struck by the ease of ‘doing business’ as compared to Europe. Its difficult to put into words but everyone is simply amenable to meeting. I felt significantly safer in his truck thats for sure.
I miss the open space, the large spacious buildings, Tex-Mex and being able to have a beer and still skateboard home. I don’t miss the traffic nor the toll roads that don’t have cash facilities nor any way off once on them! I miss the weather in the winter but certainly not in the summer.
I’m back now. Jet lagged and lighter in the wallet. My to do list is very long. I survived driving the skateboard.