February 11, 2011

Hola from Madrid!

I had intended to sleep the entire way to Madrid, pretty much starting right at 5:30pm when I boarded (thank you, sleeping pills). Then I found out that there would be a meal service – which I totally forgot about since I’m so used to domestic flights – and decided to wait up for that, since it would be within 30 minutes of takeoff. Despite the fact that I had intentionally chosen a completely empty middle row on my A330 (configuration: 2 seats, 4 seats, 2 seats) in order to stretch out and sleep, the entire back of the plane was empty, so I decided to claim an empty window row for takeoff and to enjoy the sunset views while eating – I figured I could move over to my rightful seat after that. Best of both worlds!

So entranced with the (totally unhealthy) airline food was I that I missed someone from the front coming to claim my row, until she was already settled. No matter – there were like 10 other empty rows I could take instead. But stupid me still didn’t make a move to claim one of them, being comfortably ensconced with my food and my Grey’s Anatomy… until I saw that they were nearly all taken. Now, instead of a luxurious four-seater across which to stretch out and get a good night’s sleep, there were only two rows of three seats left – and they were going fast. I quickly laid claim to one as another woman grabbed the other, and then surveyed my stake. Given that I usually sleep curled up in a ball anyway, I’d probably be fine with three seats…

…at least, however, until we hit massive turbulence that required everyone to wear seatbelts. Not only did I get jolted awake by the shaking, but I couldn’t sleep in a ball with a seatbelt on – the curve of my spine made the seatbelt way too short to go all the way around me as it would have if I had been able to stretch straight out. Foiled! All I wanted to do was go back to the woman who had taken my seat/row and wave my boarding pass at her to reclaim what was mine… but I realized I had given it up fair and square, and had no right to take it back.

And so it was that I arrived at Madrid not nearly as rested as I wanted to be – but hey, I had survived my first transatlantic flight of the weekend with no major issues. Meanwhile, the sun was just rising in the distance – pretty picture.

I even successfully navigated Barajas Airport without a lick of Spanish beyond “Hola!” and “Gracias!”, and managed to get myself into the business lounge to recharge my batteries (speaking of which, forgot my converter – time to get one from a kiosk). I feel like such a confident jetsetter, heading off to Europe for a ski weekend, and it’s giving me a great high that can’t be beat. Now, onto Geneva!


3 thoughts on “Hola from Madrid!”

  1. When I was in college, I went to Madrid with a school program (I was studying in London for a semester.) We went to a bull fight and I cried the entire time because I felt bad for the bull and had to leave. That’s my memory of Madrid!

  2. Your travels sound so fun! I was in Madrid in college (we toured Spain for 3 weeks as part of a class). We had a blast — enjoy and take loads of pictures!

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