Hello, everyone! Sorry for the late update, but my Internet access is limited at best in Madrid. I’ll kick off my catch-up posts with a bit about my flight.
I’ve never travelled alone internationally before, and I was terrified since some people (you know who you are) kept on telling me horror stories about missed connections (Tip #1: Tuck the iPod away). Anyway, I had two stops between Memphis International and Madrid-Barajas, Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta and Charles De-Gaulle in Paris.
In Atlanta, I had three hours to burn, so I ate at Panda Express, since I assumed I wasn’t going to scratch my itch for orange chicken and lo mein in Spain. Mostly, though, I chatted with a very nice lady on the same flight who was going to meet her son in Germany near Núremberg. This was her first international flight alone, too, so we immediately bonded over that.
I really wish I had gotten her name because we had a pleasant conversation about traveling,
Coca-Cola (she was unaware of its significance to Atlanta when I noted that, gasp, there was Pepsi at the Panda Express), and liberal arts colleges (totally for them, yay!).
Once I got on the airplane, I immediately passed out after the flight safety video with beautiful French people since it was late at night. I kind of wish I hadn’t because it was my first time on AirFrance and turns out it was pretty awesome, largely because we each had little TV’s with decent movie and television options. As in, episodes of Modern Family and NCIS, American movies like Black Swan and Tangled and French, Korean, and Bollywood options.
But yeah, I slept like a baby until we got to Paris. Charles De-Gaulle is huge. I spent a good few minutes running around trying to figure out if I was heading in the right direction because my aunt warned me that its hugeness makes missed connections infinitely possible, and I had only an hour and a half to get there.
But as luck would have it, security was quick, and my next flight
was in the same terminal. I celebrated by buying an apple tartelet and macchiato at a cafe. I forgot that coffee is different in Europe because my drink was freaking tiny but muy fuerte. I perked up afterwards and began listening to the Spanish of people around me. I was relieved to discover I understood a great deal of it, especially parents scolding children (not sure how I feel about that. . .).
Sadly, my next flight was far — bumpier — than the previous. As in, it largely occurred of wave after wave of turbulence. During a particularly agonizingly rough and long segment, I managed to pray the entire rosary, begging God not to be cruel and cutting me off right before my month of amazingness in Spain. Wouldn’t that suck?
This was not helped by the child behind me who kept on yelling, “¡Mira, mira! ¿Por qué? ¿Por qué?” at his parent(s) while kicking my seat.
When we finally landed, the plane burst out into applause. I think I did, too, although it was hard to tell with my jet lag.
So, after approximately doce horas in an airplane, I made it to Madrid! Descrubí mi español es suficiente porque navegué por el aeropuerto y obtuve un taxi en un pedazo. (Helped that I didn’t have to go through immigration lines again!)