Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas (Metamora) anymore...

And indeed I'm not in Metamora anymore. I'm certainly not in the states anymore, though it appears that certain things are common worldwide (more on that in a moment).

I left home on Tuesday around noon, got to O'hare around 4:30 pm and our flight boarded (on time, shockingly) at 9:00-ish pm. There was some ice on the plane and some snow on the runways, however, so we were delayed slightly actually getting in the air. This would not have been an issue except that we were scheduled to fly into London Heathrow with barely enough time to spare to catch our connecting flight to Madrid. This delay on the runway meant that we were going to miss that plane - luckily, someone was with-it enough to ask about it and the airline rebooked us for a flight that left at 2:25 pm - which gave us plenty of time to get through security and what-not after landing at noon. Very handy.

Funny security anecdote: Apparently my friend Geoff had packed a ceramic tile from his hometown of Detroit for his señora - he just happened to pack it in his carry on with all of his computer cables, so it came up on the screen as this big mass with a bunch of wires circling it. Needless to say, they searched his bag pretty thoroughly. Apparently getting searched by security is not infrequent for him (he flies quite a bit) - perhaps he appears sketchy? Anyway, he made sure to switch the tile to his other carry-on bag for London security and made it through fine.

So after arriving in Madrid around 5:45 pm, we made our way to the baggage claim where (praise be to the Jesus!) I was able to get both of my suitcases. We then found Chuck, our director of the program (and what a wonderful face to see after such a long day!), and climbed aboard a bus to head to the Fundación, the school were we will be taking classes, to meet our señoras. I am living with a woman named Carmen, who is (I would guess) in her late 30's/early 40's, though I'm terrible with guessing ages. She came to pick me up with the person I assumed to be her boyfriend, Elihu. He is from and lives in Mexico, so that relationship is still rather vague to me. Carmen has a 14-year-old son, Alex, who appeared for about 5 seconds and then disappeared again. They also have a cat, Sol ("Sun"), who is super sweet and the only thing I've taken a picture of so far.

So after unpacking my things and then repacking a bag to take with me for our orientation in Toledo (we leave tomorrow morning and come back Saturday morning), Carmen made a simple but delicious dinner (the dinners here are more the size of our lunch, with lunch being their big meal of the day) of omlette and a creamy soup made from zucchini, potatoes and onions. She fed us a traditional Spanish dessert that is popular around Christmas-time that was much like an almond fudge (delicious! Though I can't remember what she called it) and oranges. She's a great cook so I don't think we have to worry about me not eating well while I'm here...

Also, the taxi drivers here are as insane as they are in the states. Some things never change, no matter where you go...

I'm exhausted. I can't tell you the last time I got a full-night's sleep...here's to hoping for tonight! Toledo in the morning!

¡Abrazos y besos de Madrid! (Hugs and kisses from Madrid!)
Stephie

1 comment:

DJ Hartman said...

Yes! PTL for a good trip! That sometimes is half the battle!