Yay! We finally made it!
06.01.2012 - 06.01.2012 11 °C
The internet in Madrid was even more confusing than in Chicago. Because Chicago's wasn't confusing... it was just expensive. At Madrid, it just flat out wouldn't work! I tried really hard to connect and had tons and tons of problems and my internet dropped out on poor Jess in the middle of me trying to rush and say that I thought it was costing me .18 a minute to talk to him on it, so he was probably like "omfg omfg" like I said earlier. But, addendum to that, there were internet kiosks around... insert one euro, you get nine minutes of airtime. Which was useful, except for the part I where I couldn't get half of the keys to work. It was pretty neat how they had those, but it was around that time that I noticed how grimy I was getting. Before and after I found that little place, my wandering around the terminal turned some people's heads, I think. My little cart I had had to be like sideways because it had a ghetto wheel. It was cool, though. It kept things interesting, made me stay active! Ish. It didn't stop me from being extremely jetlagged, though.
Needless to say, by the time I stumbled to my gate and ran into Janson, one of the people from Miami who I was supposed to meet up with, I was a little less than incoherent. I stood the last hour while waiting because I knew if I sat, I'd sleep. And then when I kept getting dizzy spells that nearly made me fall, I sat on the ground and leaned against my crap and lost all will to move. I couldn't communicate that well with anyone or anything, but all of us were like that at that point. Two other students were there, Stacey and Amanda, who we met who were from another University but also headed to la Universidad de Oviedo with us, just obviously not Miami. It was cool to meet them. A girl named Ariel also showed up, too, who was here last semester and decided to come back again because she liked it so much. The funny part was is that she's an English major... and she's spent/ding pretty much a year in Spain. :P We got up and onto the plane in a big group together and I got soooo lucky because my entire three-seat row was empty except for me. I got a little bit of shut-eye before the plane took off and was startled awake when the flight attendant decided to make my row where to dump her demonstration materials... and then I couldn't help it-- I had to take more pictures and videos at the beginning of the flight and stuff because this was a once-in-a-lifetime view... I couldn't miss it! The same theory was applied later to my bus ride, as well, to the detriment of my sanity.
When we got off our little flight, it was cute because all four of us girls were standing around and waiting for each other, and for Janson who was a slowpoke, and we all went and got our stuff in a small, confused gaggle. Surprise for me, though, was after I got my luggage, on the other side of the waiting area was none other than José! He shook my hand (which made me feel like a pro) and made sure me and everybody else were all good. We got on the bus and, like I said, I started to sleep but then realized I should/couldn't because there was soooo much to see. Everything was beautiful. I did end up dozing off the last 15-20 and woke up after we were in the city and going past this huge, beautiful fountain I need to take pictures of when I go out tomorrow.
We disembarked at the station and after some crazyness because they'd moved my bags away from where they should have been, but I met with Carmen and she made sure to take care of me. She's really sweet. We jumped a taxi ride back to our apartment, which is literally within walking distance, because of how heavy my luggage was and we got to talk a little on the way there. She warned me there were some people at her house because of los Reyes, but I wasn't expecting to meet her whole family. It was crazy, but a good crazy. I quickly got learned to how to greet in the Spanish way... lots of cheek-touching. I accidentally headstarted my way into that because when I went to hug Carmen when I first met her she was going for the cheek thing when I was just going for the hug and I was like, "Oh, okay." I pity the next fool who tries to hug me, though. I'm seriously, seriously hug deprived right now and I might accidentally snap a rib or two.
But anyway, back at the house I met Juan, Carmen's son, who started giving me shit pretty much from the moment I walked into the door and I was too tired to get most of it. He understood that and eased up and started going on and on about the holidays and Spanish traditions and stuff like that. I also met Manolo(?... Oh, god, I hope that's his name. That would be godawfulembarrassing.), Carmen's marido, and two other people... one was her familia política or something like that, and I'm not sure the relation of the other one, but he was most close to my age than anyone else who was there. Dinner was arroz con carne with some sausage-type thing that I didn't like, but the pork that was the meat in the rice was goooood. It reminded me of home. I didn't bother saving any room because I thought that would be it... I was so, so mistaken. After I'd stuffed myself with all of that, there was a huge circle cake thing that they eat on los Reyes that I had a small piece of and didn't really care for the center of, and then since I didn't like that they gave me a yogurt thing with fruit bits in it. I have no idea what it was, but it was pretty good. They said something about the yogurt being made out of goat's milk, but I just kind of ignored that... >_>;;
It got to the point where I almost fell asleep at the table and I wasn't able to hear or really understand anything that was going on. I would have felt horrible going "hey guys, I need to go sleep" but they saved me the trouble because the one lady was like, "Honey, you look really tired." and that gave me leave to go, "Yeah, I haven't slept in a full day now." and then Carmen rushed me off to my room and let me be and said to sleep for as long as I needed and to not worry about a thing. Instead of sleeping, I unpacked fully (holy crap, first day?) and got my blankies set out and situated, got set up on the Wifi (which, by the way, may I see, HELL YES WE HAVE WIFI IN THE HOUSE! \o////////), and -then- laid down... which turned out to be crazy because my body is all out of whack. I feel like I'm still in the air and I need to keep checking to make sure my ears pop and everything's going up and down and turbulence-y.
I got a nap, woke up, Carmen made a spanish tortilla with leftover pork from dinner and I couldn't eat like the last three bites of my piece, which went in another little bag on the counter... something tells me they're -very- big on leftovers. And leftover leftovers. We talked for a bit and I got to know her a little better and share with her some stuff about me and it was really nice. Tonight, for it being the first night, went about as smoothly as one could imagine. We tried to help each other out when there was words I was trying to say but couldn't get right and for the most part understood each other perfectly. And then I had a dramatic mess with the shower which involved accidentally showering the bathroom instead of myself because their showerhead's a little out of whack, but nobody needs to hear about that. Bottom line is, Carmen's pretty chill. She was all, "Eh, el baño está limpio." or something like that.
But I'm safe, settled in, and I've got a big day of exploring ahead of me tomorrow.
Which, by the way, will be great because it's like 60 here right now. BALLIN'.