Courtney’s bags finally arrived around 1 in the morning, which in all honesty annoyed us because it might have been easier for them to be shipped to the States. Then again, they very well might have been lost in the process all over again! We woke up early, made it to the airport on time and I waited in line to check-in, when surprise! My flight had been cancelled from Madrid to JFK ten days ago without anybody telling me! For those of you who have seen me yell at bureaucrats, I was pissed. I had to go to the ticket counter to find out why. They didn’t give me a reason, but told me that Orbitz (through whom I booked my ticket) should have sent me an email. I was booked for the next day at the same time. After initially wanting to jump over the counter and strangle the man telling me that there was no flight to which I could be switched, I realized that he was a very nice man. He told me that I could still go to Madrid, but would then have to find my own way to JFK or wait until the next day for the flight onto which they had rebooked me. I called home (thanks to Courtney having a phone) and found out that there were no possible flights from Madrid to JFK. I would have to wait until the next day. I calmed down. I apologized to the man who told me that it was no problem. It wouldn’t be so bad to stay in a hotel, watching movies, reading and writing all day. At least I had the flights for the next day. It could be worse, I could have been flying through Dublin.
I said goodbye to Courtney who went off to board her flight to JFK which connected in Dublin. I found a hotel nearby with a free shuttle to the airport in the morning and booked a room. I got to the hotel, which was in the middle of nowhere, and found out that there was no internet. Great. I could use the downstairs computer once in a while, but other than that I would be on my own in my room without the company of the internets. Thank God I had bought a book at the airport. I would be fine. I went upstairs and took a nap, waiting for Courtney to tell me that she had landed in Dublin. She never did. The weather had caused her to be grounded in Edinbrough, from where she took a flight to Belfast and then somehow made it to Dublin. I spent the day writing and trying to figure out what was going on with her through Linda and periodic updates from Courtney. I was worried that she wouldn’t make it home until at least Thursday, but honestly there was nothing that could be done. The weather was cancelling everything. We would just have to hope and pray that everything went well. Hey, I’m getting better at this not worrying thing! [I’m sure Courtney’s version of this is much more harrowing and interesting than my short summary. She luckily met a great family who gave her a room in which to sleep. She somehow got onto a plane this afternoon and still will make it home before I do! What the hell????!]
So I spent the day in the hotel room alone, waiting to go home. I ate what turned out to be a fabulous meal in the restaurant downstairs of fried zucchini flowers, gnochetti with truffle sauce, porcini mushrooms and lardo (can you get more intense flavors than that?) and an order of sautéed chicory. I read while I ate and for the first time really felt comfortable eating by myself in a restaurant.
And so my semester abroad as it had started; with me in a hotel in Rome without internet waiting to travel onwards. I hate waiting alone; it’s the worst. But at least this time I felt somewhat ok doing it. I wrote a lot, as you can tell, and read. Right now I’m sitting in the Madrid airport in the middle of a 4 ½ hour layover. I don’t want to write my final piece until I’m home. It will take a bit of energy that my
body lacks right now.