Tuesday, June 22, 2010

"I'm Leavin' On a Jetplane..."

Trip home

First leg: Bus from Jerez to Madrid; June 21-22, 2010, 21:55 to 5:55

Almost didn’t make it. Waited until 3 hours before to buy my bus ticket, thinking…Monday night, no big deal. People should be working and not vacationing quite yet. HA forgot I was in Spain for a minute there. It was the last ticket. Booya (phew!)
Jessi 1 – Procrasination 0

My seat was in the back next to a Congolese man. He spoke French and his native Congolese tribal language. I speak English and Spanish. We communicated well enough for him to make a proposition – if I would be his Spanish girlfriend and accompany him through Madrid. Tempting, but I bought him a Coca-Cola instead.

Second leg: Barajas (Madrid airport); June 22, 6:30 to 11:05

The repressed memories are resurfacing. Not being able to find the baggage claim nor my parents that had come to visit me and the resulting shame from having to ask in English after 3 months of Spanish immersion (Study Abroad 2007). Arriving in Madrid, again, couldn’t find the baggage claim or where in the world – I mean, airport – I was supposed to be (Upon arrival for Teaching Assistant year 2009). Being homeless for a night and sleeping on the cold, hard airport floor before flight to Paris. Actually, the real homeless people had it better because they found the cardboard boxes, sigh. (Semana Santa 2010). 150 euros for my overweight luggage…pa-leeease! (Upon departure from Teaching Assistant year 2009) Barajas- ¿porqué me jodas siempre?

Third: Flight Madrid – Washington D.C., 11:05am to 2:50pm (calculate 7 hours for time change)

Went from lacking to luxury! I watched movies, tv shows (incl. Father Ted, mmhmm Emma, if you happen to read this ever), played computer games (not on my computer, either!), and stuffed my face full of airplane food (honestly, I don’t know why people complain about it). I sat next to someone who neither smelled nor proposed. It was probably the best 9 hours of this lengthy trip.

Fourth: Washington Dulles Airport, 2:50 to 6:06pm

For those of you who know the story about how disappointed I was when I got back from Salamanca underage (20 ½) and thirsty…I got my beer this time! Sam Adams summer ale – good, draught, and American. It came with an American price as well: $7.34, ahh, so expensive! (And don’t worry, I didn’t forget the tip) All the sudden the culture shock sets in. I keep saying ‘perdon’ to people I step on. I’m paying sales tax on my purchases. Not all is bad though. For example, I bought Skittles! And ate the whole bag within 5 minutes. American accents; so far I’ve racked up Texas southern, hick southern, ebonics, Latin American Spanish, western surfer-ish and everything in between. (I am notably lacking New England and the Northwest, though). And then there are the cultural nuances that I just can’t explain.

Fifth: Flight from Dulles to Charlotte, NC Douglas Airport, 6:06 to 7:31pm


Sixth: Charlotte Douglas Airport 7:31pm to present

More America, lo bueno: killed two birds with one stone (steak + quesadilla) and ate them for dinner.
Also FREE Wifi! And that is how I bring this blog to you in real time (almost).

I have been writing it as I go along today instead of from stale memory tomorrow, when all of this will feel like a weird dream. That’s my excuse, by the way, if some of the entries are a little off…I’m REALLY tired and currently in hour 30 of my trip, only 4 or 5 of which have been sleeping hours.

What I have to look forward to:
Flight Charlotte Douglas to LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS! 10:30 – 11:28pm.
*sigh of relief* that carries all the frustration, confusion, illusion, contentment, and excitement that I have felt for the past couple of days.

Trip TOTAL: 33 hours and more euros/dollars than I would like to count.


Melissa said...

Jessi! I'm so excited you're home. Can hardly wait to see you!

Marci said...

Can't wait to see you!!! It was funny reading what you had told me over again. I think I could listen to you talk for hours...Good thing that's what will be happening soon!

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