It hasn’t quite hit me that I’ll be an Ohian next month, or an Ohioan even. But in preparation of this metamorphosis of my very character I made a trip down there this weekend. I had planned on leaving Saturday morning, but only in a very general way. In fact a major characteristic of this trip was that there was little-to-no planning involved. I threw a bunch of stuff in the car and drove a couple states away. I didn’t know exactly what I’d be doing or when I’d be back. Que sera sera and all that. My goal: find a place to live for the next year. My plan: drive around Columbus. I’m sure many would be surprised that for the most part this plan worked.
The drive to Columbus is actually 6.5 hours. I read this on mapquest (my two mapquest maps were my only directions, which made me feel quite manly) and thought that it really meant the trip would be 5 hours. I have my patented speeding formulas and I’d surely be able to make record time. Sadly construction and fear of vicious Ohioan cops kept me from making it any faster than 6.35 hours. It’s not a bad drive from Rochester, though relatively boring.
I had said that I planned on leaving in the morning. I actually left at 3 in the afternoon. It is difficult to keep yourself to a schedule when it is completely artificial. However I did spend the morning finding perspective places to live. These consisted of places where Ohio State students typically live through their website, as well as finding med students who wanted roommates. I had discovered earlier that there was a board at the local Institute building where they kept postings of Mormons in need of roommates, so I figured I had quite the pool to draw from. Various delays kept me around until 3 but then I was off. I arrived in Columbus at 10, a bit stiff but otherwise in good spirits. Daylight had abandoned me but I still took the time to find the Med school, the Institute and my top contender for housing, the Colony Club.
At 11 I decided I was done for the day and decided I should find a place to sleep. Earlier in the day I had made arrangements to stay at the Robinsons (friends of mine from NY who met at the Hill Cumorah Pageant, got married and moved to Columbus) but decided I didn’t want to sleep there. They’re great and all but they had other guests over and it just wasn’t worth the hassle. So I decided to discover how the other half lives. By the other half I mean homeless people who happen to own Honda CRVs with leather seats. I really had no good reason to sleep in the car, other than I had never done so before. I always considered in an option for roadtrips, but had never tried it. Since the weekend already had a exploring/camping vibe to it, I figured it was the perfect opportunity. It would have been a great bonding experience if I had done it with my new car, but sadly I have not yet chosen one. So the CRV it was.
In case you ever need to sleep in a squat SUV, there are at least five different sleeping positions available to you. I eventually chose one where I slept in the back seat, reclined as far as it would go, with my feet on the head of the reclined passenger seat. I’m quite confident that it would have been a good night’s sleep, if not for the 90 degree temperature outside. I also worried a bit that a policeman would come along and give me a loitering charge. But I think I chose a good neighborhood to sleep in and effectively hid below the window-line. I’ve had better nights of sleep, but also much worse. I think I scared an old man rather seriously when I sat up in the morning as he was walking past the car, but otherwise it went well.
I ate a breakfast of Twix and stale bagel and headed towards the church. I had time to look at a couple perspective apartments before getting there and changing into my Sunday clothes. I’m sure I’ve smelled better for church before, but my hair was disheveled quite well. I attended the 1st ward, taking time to write down addresses and phone numbers off the bulletin board between blocks. I also announced who I was and got several people who were interested in having me as a roommate. Having sucked the ward dry of their resources I hit a bunch of apartments before the 2nd ward started their meetings. I again got a number of leads, then enjoyed the joint ward break the fast activity. At this event I not only got free food, but had a girl refer to me as “the hot one.” This of course endeared me to her ward, which was the 2nd.
Although there are two singles wards in Columbus, there seemed to be quite a discrepancy in their sizes. The first ward was probably about fifty strong (still larger than the Rochester branch, but not by much) whereas the second ward must have broken 120. This of course predisposed me to investigate the 2nd ward in greater detail. Unfortunately all the places I had looked at thus far, and most that I looked at later were in the 1st ward. Of course a good person would probably say “Hey, the 1st ward obviously needs more membership, that’s where I should live.” My thoughts were more like “The 2nd ward has at least twice as many girls, and I should be their neighbor.” I think the natural man may win this battle.
I continued looking for housing until 8 that night. Having exhausted my resources at hand I called it a trip and drove back to Rochester. I considered sleeping in the car and taking off in the morning, but I’m actually much more alert at 2 at night than 8 in the morning, so driving at night was actually safer. And easier on my back. And considering that I’d been in that car for the vast majority of the last 36 hours, it was time to get out.
I’ll give you my impressions of Columbus tomorrow, assuming that pretty fireworks or girls don’t distract me too terribly.
Song of the moment: “Hoodie” by Lady Sovereign.