Chris Jacobs embarks on a harrowing journey to get to Spain, where he’s studying abroad this summer. Follow along to see if/how he makes it there… see part 1 here
Amsterdam was where everything started to go wrong. I found my little area of the terminal. Since I landed at 6 am Amsterdam time, nothing was open for breakfast. I learned that once I entered my part of the terminal, I could not leave to get food and there were no little stores in my part of the terminal. I tried to ask a security guard if I could leave to get food but I don’t think he spoke English. So I sat and waited for the flight from Amsterdam to Madrid. The last thing I’d had to eat was a banana and orange juice on the plane trip for breakfast. The flight took off about half an hour late, and I was served a cheese salad sandwich. Deciding to be open minded, I opened it up and took a bite. It was literally American cheese (which I found to be ironic) mixed with mayo and slapped in between two pieces of bread. The cheese mixture was not so delicious, but the bread was good. So there was my lunch: half a bite of cheese/mayo and two slices of bread with a small glass of Coke.
The worst part was that we hit turbulence, which somehow slowed our flight by half an hour. Never was able to understand that, but ok, it happened. All this meant was that I landed in Madrid an hour later than I should have. I left the plane, expecting to go through some sort of security checkpoint, maybe have my passport stamped, you know. Something. This wasn’t the case, I literally just walked out of the airport! Easiest security checkpoint ever.
Since I landed an hour late, I missed the shuttle that ran from the airport to the Atocha train station. After waiting half an hour, I was able to get onto the shuttle. Now, it’s 1 pm (Madrid time) and I hadn’t slept since 7 am the previous day (Minneapolis time). I have no idea what that adds up to after time zone changes, all I knew was that I was dead tired. The shuttle eventually made its way to the train station (I think I nearly had a heart attack on that shuttle ride. European drivers are CRAZY). I got off at Atocha and made my way to the ticket counter. I grabbed a ticket, read my number: B855. Ok, that’s not too bad. Then I hear a number being called: B695. I sank down in a chair as I waited two hours to get a ticket from Madrid to Oviedo.
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Will Chris ever leave the train station? Is he still sitting there right now, waiting for his number to be called? Did he eschew the train journey, only to leave the station and attempt to hitchhike to Oviedo, thus inspiring the epic novela entitled I Shoulda Waited for a Train Ticket: How I Learned Spain is A Lot Bigger Than It Looks on a Map? Stay tuned for the next installment of “¡Ay Chris!”…