Monday, September 3, 2012

Taking Europe by Storm

At approximately 11:30 yesterday morning (holy cow has it really been that long?!) Javier Fernando Guillermo Torres Fidel Hernandez the third (that adorable little llama fellow in the picture) and I started our adventure of flying over the Atlantic to get to Spain, where I'll be studying abroad for what seems like a lifetime now that it's finally started.  Mumsy walked me down to the security checkpoint, where I proceeded to bawl like a baby, because I love my mother oh so much, and would have very much loved to shove her into my carry on so she could come with me, and yes, I would have given her some air every now and again.  Once she started to get far enough on the wrong side of the line to cause some TSA members to panic, we hugged and said good bye. Which then made me cry harder, because I'm just that big of a boss. So Javier and I made it through the TSA screening, and I made no inappropriate comments, and the screening wasn't even as bad as I was expecting. 
Waiting in the terminal was probably one of the most nerve wracking experiences I've had, which either says that I'm never going to be good in a strenuous situation, or I have easily affected nerves, guess there goes my career as a spy. The flight went smoothly and the person I sat next to just so happened to be pregnant. Now if any of you have met me once, you probably know about my obsession with being pregnant/babies. So this woman had to be like 5 months along, with a beautiful baby bump that was ripe for the stroking (and if that doesn't make you cringe, you've clearly spent too much time with me).  I however did not touch her stomach, because I have the willpower of something with a lot of freaking will power. 
After arriving in Chicago, I got to see what a real airport should look like, which of course include large quantities of sushi bars.  I went directly to my terminal, bypassing the sushi - which also happens to be another serious feat for me, and had a short wait.  On this flight though, I was in for a treat, though.  But first I had to deal with a non-treat.  This flight was the only one where I have to say I had seriously bad luck with seating.  I was the first one in my row and had managed to get a ticket with the window seat, so I was under the impression that I had won the lottery. However, I was soon proven wrong when my seatmates boarded. It was a mother and her son, and they were not fabtab.  Firstly the son wouldn't stop whining about how the lady checking people in was being such a bitch about making him check his instrument, that was worth more than she made in a year and blah blah blah blah poor me.  Like I get you're upset bro, and I'm sure that if you hadn't acted like an asshat things might have gone smoother for you, but calling someone a bitch who is simply trying to do their job, and having to deal with an offensive person on top of that, is just not ok. On top of this, his mother who was sitting next to me, took off her shoes, which while it bothers me, fine that's ok you're in your space, decided to remove them from her space and move them into mine. Which is when the 'eff this noise bro' mode kicked in and I decided a nap was in order.  When I awoke some 30 minutes later, the man/boy/child was still whining about how unfairly he was treated.  
In order to distract myself further, I started the best airplane game ever, called let's eavesdrop. During this game, I found out that two of the girls on the plane sitting close by were also doing the same study abroad that I was. Which was great news, because who doesn't love back up in a new and scary place? 
After landing, we became a group of survivalists, running through the wilderness of the Philadelphia airport trying to make it to our next destination. When we got to our terminal, we found the only group of three seats available and staked our claim on the new territory.  While being all adult like and responsible we went and checked in for our longest flight of the day, and waited for the airline to start boarding passengers.
When the boarding time rolled around and then passed, nerves were awoken and the question of whether or not we would be able to make our final flight, which barely gave us an hour to get to the next terminal and check in. However, the airline was awesome, and had us all ready to go at only five minutes later than expected. While waiting to board, I met one of the coolest people on the planet, and I say this, because she is in a certain fashion similar to me.
Within the first 30 minutes of being next to each other, we had already managed to find the most awkward topic in the history of plane rides, and then expanded on it for over an hour. And while I feel slightly sorry for the other passengers around us, I don't care all that much, because it was the best eight hour flight of my life, and until the holy day comes, when someone releases an airplane horror porn, I will be disappointed (sorry for the faint of heart who decided to read this).  On top of this and pigging out on the airline food/snacks we brought along, we watched some fantastic movies, and created a beautiful awkwardness for anyone within 3 rows/columns of seats. By far one of my fondest memories.
After the end of that fantastic part of the voyage, the other girls and I landed with 55 minutes until our next flight left.  Along with the time shortage, a few of us didn't have our boarding pass needed for this flight.  So we had to find the check in counter that could provide us with this necessity and then make it past the international checkpoint and go through security again.  Needless to say we actually ran through the airport and were extremely frightened about missing the final flight before we could meet our families and take some seriously earned naps. But our luck held and we made it with just about 15 minutes to spare. The flight went smooth and we landed safe and sound in Bilbao without a problem.  With only some minor confusion about where to get our luggage (none of which was lost, PRAISE BE TO JAYSUS), we were on our way to find our car from the university to meet our host families. 
This is where we part days until tomorrow, where we will be reunited to take some tests and register for classes. I went home with my new mom and first father (WOOOO) to find out where I lived and to meet my sister.  It's definitely been interesting, I'm not going to be as independent as I am back home. Which will take some adjusting, because, I like being in charge of me.
As a few hints to anyone who reads these and is considering going abroad, remember:
1. You do not know a foreign language nearly as well as you think you do, a class room setting is seriously different from the real world setting
2. Be prepared for different foods that might not be something you would ever look at and go, 'holy cow when do I get to eat this', instead be prepared more for a 'ok, it doesn't look like it's living, I've got this bro'.
3. Never try green cheese from Spain, no the color isn't green, but the taste is like that of a basement mixed in with some 15 year old's football bag mixed in.
4. Smile, you'll get more help that way.
5. Don't ever blame the person who is trying to do their job, it'll only cause you more problems and get you less help in the end.
6. Take whatever friends come your way, they make it a little less stressful.

In case you were curious to see more Javier and details, there you go.

No comments:

Post a Comment