Sunday, January 10, 2010

I'm here!

Finally, I'm here in Sevilla, España! Currently, I'm typing in my hotel bed with Chantel Jennings, more commonly known as Channy, quietly appreciating the profound lyrics of Usher's "You Remind Me." It is a relaxed evening, unlike the beginning few days of our study abroad experience...

Detroit to Frankfurt went well enough. Channy and I had seats in the last row of the international flight, closest to the bathroom and farthest away from the food. Adding to the situation, I was seated next to a rather large European man whom Channy and I aptly dubbed "Pablo." Pablo's arm was approximately the size of my thigh, automatically granting him the privilege of the arm rest. Thankfully, he was asleep for the majority of the trip, allowing Channy and I to engage in silent dance parties and other such important business. I hardly slept at all, but somehow managed to miss breakfast in the morning. Go figure.

At Frankfurt, we just barely made our connection, after being delayed in Detroit because of de-icing procedures. We were literally the last people on the bus to take us to the airplane, but we made it just in time. I slept the entire flight, again managing to skip the meal they offered. Thankfully, a PB&J sandwich made by Channy's parents came to the rescue. Thanks Mr. and Mrs. Jennings!

The debacle that happened in Madrid needs to be summarized into a list, because otherwise this blog will be much longer than necessary. Here's how it goes:
1. Our bags do not arrive with us in Madrid. We momentarily panic.
2. The customer service people tell us they have no information about the whereabouts of our bags. We decide to wait until Gayle's flight arrives, assuming our bags will be on her flight, since she's coming from the same airport.
3. Gayle's flight is delayed.
4. We realize our bags are not actually on that flight. We momentarily panic. Again.
5. Our bags are found! On a flight that will arrive at 11:30 that night...
6. We check in at our hostel.
7. A spanish guido (picture Jersey Shores mixed with MTV tres) drives Channy and I back to the airport at 11 to get our bags. After discovering the flight was delayed (is this becoming a pattern?), we exercise on the carousel and race luggage carts. Finally, our bags arrive!
8. We attempt to persuade a taxi driver to shove all the baggage into one taxi, seeing as we do not have enough euros for two taxis. This is much more stressful than it sounds.
9. A kind driver decides to come to our rescue. I sit in the front, with the seat pushed all the way forward and my pack in my lap. Channy gets comfortable with the rest of the baggage in the back.
10. We talk about the weather and disco with the driver on the ride home.

After less than 4 hours of sleep at the hostel, a 2.5 hour train ride to Sevilla, and an argument with the Sevillian taxi drivers, we arrived at the hotel and were greeted by Louisa, an employee of the program center. For lunch, we eat at a Tapas restaurant, which serves basically a multitude of appetizers. It was my first real Spanish meal and consisted of a variety of Spanish cuisine, including whole shrimp. Yes, my food stared back at me. Until I ripped its head off, that is.

To end the day, we met all the program participants and had dinner at the hotel. Our day begins at 10 am tomorrow, with a trip to the program center, followed by a tour around Sevilla.

Part of me still can't believe that I'm actually here, in Spain, about to only speak Spanish for the next five and a half months. And if the beginning of this trip has any indication as to how the rest will follow, I can only say that it is going to be an adventure. Stay tuned.

1 comment:

Natasha Wahid said...

So, I'm bored and in the middle of not doing one of the readings that I should be doing so I thought I'd check in on your blog. It has entertained me thoroughly and though I am very jealous that you are having sweet experiences while I'm on my couch reading about Kuru, I will continue to stalk you via this blog. Hope the first few days have been incredible!