Monday, April 26, 2010

My Spanish Journey

It seems as far back as I can remember I have always been interested in Andalucia and in Sevilla in particular. I'm not really sure why, probably some movie or television show (or a number of them) I saw as a child that captured my interest. When the subject of my going to Spain came up once again this past March it seemed finally that everything in the universe was working to make it happen (including the timing of spring break and LEAP testing) and so I got a passport and a ticket and started making plans.

The discussion had originally been about traveling during Easter to witness the Santa Semana celebrations, but that wasn't going to work out with my school schedule so I pushed the trip back deciding that if I was going to miss work I should do it during LEAP. It just so happened that shortly afterward it was announced that there would be no enrichment during testing and since the week after would be spring break all I needed to do was make sure I would be back (and well rested) in time for Jazz Fest in order to help my friend Ginger Kelly in her booth.

I had been so busy before I left for my trip to Spain that I hardly had taken any time to think about what it would be like when I got there. I wasn't worried about anything in terms of food or the culture or even my lack of fluency with the Spanish language, I was just looking forward to taking a break from all the post-Katrina stresses and angst that seemed to have be worse all this time later than it was in the months after returning from my exile in Baton Rouge.

I was so completely consumed with everything I needed to do before leaving New Orleans and all of the preparations for the things I would have to do when I got back that I didn't even start packing until just before I left. I knew was going to spend time in three different regions with different weather but the forecast kept changing so ultimately I just threw a bunch of stuff in a suitcase, packed up my computer and headed for the aiport. In my carry on were my journal, a few magazines and a large zip bag of yarn containing two of my latest crochet experiments as well a partially knit scarf still in progress. I wasn't sure if I would be able to sleep on the seven hour and forty minute flight across the Atlantic from Philadelphia to Madrid, but at least I had enough stuff to keep me entertained.

I spent most of the first two hours of my journey with the foot of a child in my back. About halfway to Philadelphia I finally turned and asked the mother if she could please do something about the seat kicking and her response was "I'm trying, but your seat..." My flight from Philly to Madrid was a completely different experience. It was not crowded so people started spreading out and taking empty seats as soon as it was ok to move about. Fortunately for me I sat in the middle section on the aisle and there were two seats between me and the guy at the end of the row in the other aisle seat so I was able to stretch my legs out and get comfortable.

By the time I boarded the plane I was seriously hungry. Dinner was two different kinds of pasta, one in a cream sauce and one in a tomato sauce with salad, bread and a brownie. I opted for a gin and tonic thinking it would help relax me so I would sleep, but I poured too much gin in the cup at first and the drink was a little strong so I had to keep adding tonic which eventually weakened the drink, but at least I was relaxed. There was too much noise during the flight (coughing, snoring, crying babies) along with intermittent turbulence for me to get any sleep, but fortunately I didn't have to worry about that thanks to the in flight entertainment. The music choices were lacking so I watched the movies "The Invention of Lying" and most of "Did You Hear About the Morgans." (Both were pretty funny.)

When I arrived in Madrid the temperature was in the thirties and I was glad I had brought my long sweater/coat and gloves and not the heavy jacket that had been suggested to me. I would soon find that coat would come in handy in the days ahead while traveling in the north. Coming next - The first day in Madrid.


scheng1 said...

haha, next time you can bring some pebbles onboard. When you see those who sleep with their mouths open, you can throw the pebbles into their mouth! That will prevent them from snoring too!

David J. Demko said...

Got your blog link that you sent me on twitter. Great resource for aspiring writers.
Would like to write a feature about you for my readers in one of our online magazines.

David Demko, Editor-in-Chief