Alcalá de Henares

Alcalá de Henares

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Note to Self: Learn Bus System

I'm discovering that even though I've been here for almost 2 weeks, I still have a lot to learn about Spain.  Sure, I can walk by myself to and from school and not get lost, but I'm still struggling to understand what is being said to me and what everything means.  I know that it will come with time, but I just want to be able to understand NOW!

Today I had three classes and I could get used to only having classes four days a week.  Makes for a short week.  But after classes I came home and ate lunch, and rested for awhile.  Siestas I totally understand.  I talked with my friends and they mentioned they wanted to go out tonight around 1:00 A.M., but I convinced them that 12:00 was a good time to meet as well, so we planned on meeting at La Plaza de Cervantes at 12:00 A.M.

So at 11:45 P.M., I headed to the bus stop wearing my black Steve Madden heels.  I mean I wasn't going to be walking too much, so why not?  Well I waited for the bus for about 10 minutes and finally saw it coming.  And then it passed me?  Ok, so I waited another 10 minutes and finalIy another bus showed up to pick me up.  I got downtown and met up with my group and they decided they wanted to go to a bar.  I was wrong about the not walking far because this bar was nowhere to be found!  Our group got lost trying to find "The Can-Can," which I'm not entirely sure I understand what it was.  Then we ended up at a sketchy discoteca and I think my coat will forever smell like smoke.  Shoot.  I decided to take a break from the discoteca and the smoke and my friend Nina and I walked another girl home because she lived relatively close.  We returned to the discoteca to find even more smoke than before, so I decided to call it a night at 1:30 A.M. and headed back towards the bus stop because I was informed that the bus would only be coming at 12:00, 1:00, 2:00, and 3:00, and 4:00.  I wanted to get there a little early so that the bus wouldn't leave without me because I was not going to sit in the cold and wait another hour for the bus!  So I waited...and waited...2:00 comes around and no sign of the bus.  I wait until 2:15 and came to the conclusion that there will be no bus tonight, which means a 35 minute walk, probably longer since I'm wearing heels, home.  Alone.  Shoot.

I started the journey praying to God for safety and a quick journey, and that my feet wouldn't bother me too much.  Mind over matter.  I could feel blisters forming and I was still in the Plaza where I catch the bus!  Needless to say, I was not enthusiastic about walking home.  I know my host mom said something about the buses not running certain times, but I took the bus home last weekend at 2:00 A.M., so I really didn't see what the problem was.  Darn my lack of Spanish abilities right now.  Maybe the bus came right after I left, I don't know.  However, I was only about 10 minutes into the walk, still in a well light area and I saw the most welcoming sight ever!  A whole line of taxis!  What a miracle!  So I casually stroll up to one of them and ask in broken Spanish how much it would cost to get home.  I'm secretly praying that it's not more than $15 Euro since that's all I've got on me.  The driver replied that it would only be around $5 or $6 Euro, and I believe this may have been my best purchase in Spain yet!  Needless to say, I have learned my lesson and will be talking to my host mom first thing in the morning about the bus and will put the taxi company into my cell phone, so I never have to go through that again.  My feet are also grateful.  Like I said, learn something new everyday in Spain even if it's at 2:00 in the morning...

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