First of all, for any of you who were on the EHS choir trip to Italy five years ago...I didn't lose my boarding pass this time! SUCCESS! I'm already becoming a better world traveller.
Unfortunately, while my organization skills may have changed since I was sixteen, my hatred for flying has not. The trip from Newark to Madrid was torture. I was nauseous, dizzy, couldn't sleep at all, and had to sit next to an obnoxious, PDA-obsessed couple for eight hours. I was miserable by the time I arrived in Spain, but felt a bit better after napping on the airport floor during our layover (ice cold marble is deceptively comfortable).
The flight from Madrid to Granada actually went really well, mainly because I somehow managed to sleep through it. I was out before the plane even took off, and didn't wake up until the seatbelt light came on as we were landing. I left the plane feeling awake, refreshed, and ready to settle into our hostel, clean up a bit, and explore the city a little. My happy bubble was burst, however, at baggage claim, where my suitcase-filled with my entire wardrobe, bathroom stuff, and half of my cash- failed to show up. I wasn't the only one missing luggage; Kristen, one of my roommates, didn't get hers either, and about half of the other passengers were missing theirs as well. We missed our bus because we had to wait in line at customer service to get things straightened out. We gave the woman at the counter our flight info, descriptions of our luggage, and our host family's address, and she told us that we should get our stuff sometime tomorrow if they get everything worked out. I really hope that suitcase is waiting for me tomorrow....I don't want to have to sleep in jeans and a sweatshirt for two nights in a row.
We finally arrived at our hostel at about a quarter to nine. It's pretty nice. The room is freezing, and the mattresses are kind of stiff, but it's incredibly comfortable compared to cramped airplanes with hard, scratchy seats. After we got settled in we walked around until we found a tapas bar, where we had delicious, cheap drinks and even more delicious food. The waiter thought Kristen was cute so he brought us all free shots, which were unbelievably tasty. Karl, Joe, and Cassy headed to another bar afterwards, but the rest of us decided to get back to the hostel to rest up; we definitely needed it.
I'm already realizing that my Spanish speaking/listening skills suck. They speak SO fast here! And so far, the people I've talked to are not super patient with my limited language abilities. They roll their eyes if I don't understand what they said and get frustrated when they don't understand what I'm trying to say. It's a pain, but it's just an incentive to practice as much as possible and leave here by the end of May able to speak Spanish without annoying native speakers.
We meet our host families tomorrow, so hopefully that goes well. I've heard mixed reactions from students who've stayed with my family in the past, so I'll have to see what they're like for myself.