Monday, September 29, 2008


so far my big trip to spain has not been very exciting. i’m not one of those people who needs a lot of alone time, so being by myself has been weird. it’s not scary or anything, i feel totally safe, but it’s just strange because I am used to traveling with friends. i haven't felt like seeing anything really cool, because i would rather wait til i can come back with someone else to share the experience with. yesterday I was walking down the sidewalk and saw one of these guys walk by me,

and it was one of those moments where i really wished someone else had been there to laugh about it with me. he seriously looked like he stepped off the movie set.

i spent a little over 24 hours in airplanes/airports without any major problems. i do wish i had packed a little less in my carry on bag because it was really heavy and I had to lug it all over the airport in houston, trying to figure out where to get my boarding pass for my flight to london. my shoulder is actually bruised from the strap. a lot of times i would just drag it behind me and i felt kinda tacky when people would walk by with their little wheeled suitcases, but it was seriously hurting so I didn’t care that much.

i don’t want to give a play by play of what i’ve been doing bc it would be really boring. i went to bed at nine last night, and then woke up at 4:45 today and could NOT go back to sleep. it was pretty frustrating, because i had set my alarm for ten o’clock. i was waaay off. i spent the day walking around the Gran Via, which is a major street in madrid and where my hotel is located. all the buildings are really pretty and old looking, but then they have stuff like McDonalds and Burger King in them.

Gran Via

the building in the middle is where my hotel is, and i think it has the stiffest, scratchiest towels i have ever felt. the little old man who runs it is really nice, but he talks really fast and i think he might have a speech imped.

after i ate lunch (at starbucks... i'm still too chicken to go in and try and order real spanish food) i used the metro to go find the hotel i will be staying at for the next two nights during orientation. i was pretty proud of myself because i’m not the best with maps, and i had to figure out which lines to take and i even had to change lines twice and i got there without getting lost. i found the hotel without too much trouble, but when i tried to go in, the doors were locked. that made me a little nervous, bc there hasn’t been too much communication between me and whoever is running this program, and i could definitely see them changing the location and me never hearing about it. So i just decided to sit on a bench in front of the doors to see if anyone else would try to come and get it. i probably sat there for twenty minutes before a couple came along. when they couldn’t get in, the man pointed down the sidewalk to the left and they started walking that way. once they passed me and got a few yards away, i got up to follow them. then they turned around, and started walking back in the opposite direction, straight towards me. i didn't want it to be too obvious that i was following them, so I had to keep walking a few steps, then turn around and follow them again. there were some other people sitting on the bench with me and they probably thought i was nuts. i followed the couple around the corner to another entrance i had completely missed, and found out what i needed to know about orientation tomorrow. so i feel pretty good about that and now i think i’m going to bed.
hasta pronto.