Friday, September 16, 2011

The Moment Has Arrived

Hey Hey Everyone!

    So the time has finally come, I am here in SPAIN!! After a long while of not having internet due to waiting on buying a EUROPE/US power adapter, I can finally give a semi update of life on the other side of the world. 

The adventure started Monday as I was nervously packing my two suitcases with clothes I would have for the next year in Spain, tearing heartstrings as I saw the things I was leaving behind (and asking to have sent to me later jajaj). And of course since I leave everything to the last possible minute, I didn't get to sleep more than 45 minutes before it was time to make the trek at 6am from Palmdale to LAX. 

My nerves were on pins and needles as the Air Canada employee checked the scale as I put my bags on. The first 51 pounds (AHH!), but she let it slide... (that would be due to my shoes lol)...the second 45 lbs, I guess Top Ramen weighs less than flats.  After that I was reassured my luggage would be waiting for me in Madrid, and that I wouldn't have to spend my 2 hour layover in Toronto running around from baggage claim and customs and such. Speaking of customs... what disorganized mess in Canada (no offense) they were taking a random 10 people in at a time and trying to calm down people who weren't even complaining lol.

So after a 6 hour flight to Toronto and an 11 hr flight to Madrid (which ended up being longer because there was traffic at the Madrid airport and we circled in the air above it for half an hour). I didn't have much luck sleeping on the plane, after sleeping what I thought was a good while, I would wake up and convinced that we had to almost be there because I slept so long, only to find out that I'd only slept 50 minutes and we still had four and a half/ seven/ two hours left. I did end up watching Water for Elephants, and was too tired to watch anything else but apparently not tired enough to fall into a deep sleep jajaj.

I was also blessed to have the help that I do here in Spain. The coordinator for my school had told me she would pick me up from the airport, and arranged for me to rent a room from her sister (her neighbor) while I did my apartment hunting. When I told other auxiliares of this at the seminar at USC everyone was like WOW so lucky...and I truly am...I arrived in madrid, got the stamp on my visa, and went to get my luggage. As I passed through the Arrivals threshold I saw people holding little white sign's with names of those who they waited for, but my name was not there. I waited around in the crowd for a little while before panic started setting in. Since the plan the whole time was for me to go with my coordinator, I didn't have any place to go, or any idea of how to find an alternative. Since the last few days before leaving were crazy I didn't get around to sending the email that I wanted to get her phone number and give her mine, and just double check on all the details. The only number I had was for the school (which was on holiday the day that I arrived so that wouldn't have done any good anyway, lol figures...) So I went into freak out mode for about 2 seconds until I saw a machine that  I could connect to the internet with. Sending her an email was my last resort,. The machine charged 2 euros for half an hour, more than enough to do what I needed to do. There was no card slot, only for me to enter the information for my card, so I did...and it was rejected (Major Freak Out Moment!)  Another Blessing... my mom when I had got accepted into Spain gave me a 2 euro coin she'd had saved in a drawer. I put it in the machine and jumped right on my email. She'd already emailed me with her number and that she was at the airport.

We finally united and she took me to the cute room that would be my own for the next two weeks or so. Not too much adventure/exploring has gone on as of yet, since I'm still a mess with the 9 hour time difference and allergies, but I'll update soon.

Thanks for reading and don't forget to check out this month's Reader Spotlight if you haven't already, next one gets chosen Oct. 1 :)

<3 Cat


  1. Congratulations!!! You're finally in Spain!!! I am soo jealous that your coordinator picked you up from the airport and set you up in an apt while you look for permanent housing. I've been debating about how many bags (big rolling ones) I want to take, because I'm worried about getting from the airport to the hostel with two huge bags (plus a book bag, laptop bag, AND carry on). My hostel is in the main square in Malaga and only two short bus rides from the airport but I don't know if I should risk it : /

    Long story short, estoy celosa porque ya estas en Espana, pues, me voy el lunes :)

  2. I would recommend giving it a test run to see how much you could take/walk with. I had 2 big suitcases, a backpack and a laptop bag (which were heavy and sucked to have in all 3 airports. Also consider having to get on the bus/stairs with your bags.

    Ya mero llegas!