I should have known they were going to lose all of my luggage when the attendant in Detroit was nice enough to offer to send my third checked bag for free. Some things are just too good to be true. But with a smile on my face, I waved goodbye to my little rolly bag and change of clothes for my overnight stay in Madrid and stupidly allowed my carry on to become a checked bag.
I’m traveling with four friends who will all be studying in Sevilla with me this semester. We all took the same red eye flight from Detroit to Frankfurt, Germany. Lyndsay and I were lucky enough to be able to sit together for both flights. We were in the last row of the plane sitting next to an incredibly large Spainard, whom we kindly referred to as Pablo. The flight was uneventful save for the fact that the world’s fattest baby was sitting ten rows up from us. The baby girl (although I must admit Lyndsay and I are still debating the gender of the child — I hold firm to the fact it’s a girl) and her mother made frequent trips to the rest room, which was directly behind us, so that provided entertainment when our movies and iPods did not.
Our layover was more reminiscent of my high school days as I hurriedly carried my backpack, lunchbox and vase for my host family (the only thing I actually took out of my carry on turned checked bag). Gayle would not be traveling with us for the second flight, she had a slightly longer layover in Germany and so we had agreed to meet in baggage claim when she finally arrived in Madrid. We jumped on the flight and slept the entire way.
This is when it got crazy. We got to baggage claim and collected three luggage carts for our combined nine bags. Bag after bag passed by, none of which even slightly resembled mine. The carousel stopped after most people had happily left with their successful luggage experience. The only thing that was left were the four pathetic looking American girls.
So we reported our missing bags. They told us they had no information as to where they were or are. Fantastic. So we wait for Gayle. No flights come. We check the map. Madrid has five terminals — Gayle is in another one. We run to her terminal. Her flight is delayed six hours. We slowly walk back to talk to our luggage claim people. They have found our bags. Great. They just won’t be coming to Madrid until midnight. It is 5pm. Awesome. So we made our way to our cute hostel in downtown Madrid run by two young friends. It’s quite the experience. The walls are painted a brick red color and there are risqué chalk drawn murals everywhere. It’s a funky place.
So now, I write this from a kitchen amidst student from Germany, Korea, Spain, China and England. Languages are flying back and forth like games of ping pong and I’m trying to pick up the Spanish where I can.
Even with the stress at the airport I must say the only bad part of the day is that I’m wearing sweatpants and sweatshirts in a country full of people that look like they belong on the cover of a fashion magazine. There are children in diapers that look more put together than I do.
We used to say that it wasn’t a Jennings family road trip unless the van broke down. It’s starting to seem to me now, that it isn’t an international flight unless they loose your luggage.