Saturday, December 3, 2011

Off to the land of chocolaty goodness

I'm heading to Switzerland this weekend to visit Ramona. I managed to catch the two o'clock bus to Madrid instead of the later one, which worked out quite well. The bus ride was just as unpleasant as I remember. For some reason the seats, despite being cushy-looking and having the ability to recline, are less satisfying than the stiff, wooden chair I'm sitting in now. Perhaps it's because I'm prepared for the stiff, wooden chair to be uncomfortable so there is less disappointment involved. It took around five hours to go from Teruel to Madrid by bus because the bus driver was determined to check every little village along the way for more passengers. They need a radio system to check these things instead of making the bus get on and off the highway to check for people who, 90% of the time, aren't there. Instead, a trip that would normally take around three hours by car is increased by two hours in a bus. Once I made it to Madrid, I worked my way from the bus station to the metro by memory. My traumatic first experience in Madrid came in handy; vivid mental imagery makes for a great navigation tool. The metro ride was long but I managed to figure out all of the right stops and changes with some planning. I suppose Madrid isn't as horrible as I recalled once you have a decent amount of rest and you're not rolling around a hundred pounds of luggage on a broken wheel. It was actually more difficult to find the hostel that I was staying at than anything else. It is located on the second floor of a building that has a storefront at the bottom and apartments on all the other floors. I like it better than the hotel I stayed at for the seminar in September, especially considering it's only 30 euros and has free internet. Sure, I have to walk to the other side of the building to use the toilet but that's a price I'm willing to pay. The downside to staying in this hostel is that I could hear every door slam, pin drop, bell ring, and cough in a radius of what had to be ten miles or so. So now I'm going to find my way to the airport and get some breakfast at some point. It's nice to not have to worry about planning lessons for classes for a few days (until next Friday, in fact). Hopefully all goes well and I can enjoy some delicious chocolate this afternoon.

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