On a roll
Spain travel diary, part 2
July 30, 2003
We both slept a bit before we landed at the
surprisingly warm Barcelona airport. Made our way through
passport check and walked to where we were going to spend
our first day in Spain with our backpacks.
I was wearing a pair of black pants, yellow
tank top and a black shirt on top of that and while waiting
for our luggage to come through, I entertained the
idea of taking the shirt off to cool down from the heat and humidity. Safa's
luggage came through and she was busy dragging it away from the other passengers
as I stood there waiting for mine.
My hair was down so the heat was starting
to get to me, this with the exhaustion and hunger was not
a good mix for me. I started to take my over shirt off but
when it got to my shoulders, I changed my mind and put it back on.
Right then I heard: "Ehhhh Mahmoud...
didi?! Daasht dar miyovord haa... Che heyf..."
A split second had not passed when I turned
to him and said.
"Martikeh kesaafat... agar Farsi nemifahmidam ye chizi...
khaak too oon sare kesaafatet!"
After explaining the situation to a confused
Safa who had returned with both our backpacks to find me
inexplicably screaming at a random stranger,
loaded up and headed out of the airport to take the train into central
(I would like to mention at this point that
"loading up" was a tricky
maneuver involving getting down into a position that looked like
a weightlifters squat, simultaneously trying to wriggle our
arms into the constantly
tangled straps of the backpacks and then attempting to stand up again
The air-conditioned train was what we both
needed, as we sat with our maps and planned how to get to
Madrid. Luckily for me, Safa is
I'll ever be, so she had pre-booked our hostel in Madrid and got
all the information on how to get to the train station and which
us to Madrid and the costs etc.
With this information and my undying
trust in Safa,
we arrived at the Main train station in Barcelona. Confidently
bouncing through the station with our backpacks, I actually
like "so glad
we bought backpacks... so much easier to get around", " this
isn't bad at all" and "look at those poor people pulling
As we drifted towards the counter to purchase
our tickets for Madrid, we were faced with large lines of
fellow travelers also
to go to Madrid
after the 20 minutes of waiting we were finally face to face
with the teller.
Boldly, Safa (whose Spanish is much better
than mine, but that's really not saying much) said:
"Dos boletos a Madrid por Favor."
To which, we got the reply, "Perdon, No hay
mas tickets hacia Madrid hoy, pero si quieres, puedes regresar
una hora antes de que el
tren departe para
ver si hay
ticketes que han
sido reservadas pero no recojidas. Gracias."
Like a proud Mother, I looked at Safa and
was certain that she had an answer to whatever it was this
woman just said, only to
"Yes, there are no more tickets to Madrid
today, but if you would like, you can come back one hour
before the train is going to
see if there are any tickets that had been reserved but not
picked up. Thank
the reply we received and before we knew it we were pushed
out of the way, dazed and confused. (Unbeknown to us this
a Spaniard who could speak any form of understandable English.)
So we looked at the schedule and there were
3 remaining trains to Madrid, 4pm, 8pm and 11pm. We were
certain that we could
the 4pm train
decided to head out into the beautiful city of Barcelona
until approximately 7pm, when we could return and get a couple
seats on the 8pm train
(which really would be perfect because we could get some
sleep and make it into
Madrid in time
to shower, get dressed and hit the Spanish nightlife).
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