I see London, I saw France…

Well, I flew over France on my way to London, but that counts, right? Close as I’ve ever gotten anyway. Maybe next time France.

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France is under those clouds. But check out how many planes had just recently flown over! We’re lucky to have gotten out alive!!

And speaking of clouds, I couldn’t help thinking about how clouds are liars. I mean, look at them; they are so white and fluffy, it looks like if you jumped on them, you’d have a nice, comfy landing. You’d probably want to sleep on them, right? But no. Jump on a cloud and you’re dead, but not before the long, long fall to, say, France.

That’s false advertising, just like the false advertising of the Ding Dong Hostels in Spain. They actually say on their website that their rooms are “sound proof.” But I am here, bleary -eyed, to tell you that they are anything but. I couldn’t say for sure, but I believe Godzilla was in the room above me and he/she was wearing heels, stomping around until 3 a.m., stopping for a cat nap, and starting up again by 8. I don’t know why the beast was so angry, but he/she was in a mood, and I suffered right along with her/him. I could not take it anymore, so I started checking flights out of town.

It’s been quite a day: at around 10 am, I found a flight to London and thought, okay, let’s go there. I took a shower with the shampoo the hostel provided, then looked at the companion bottle to find–more shampoo. No conditioner in sight, I put my hair under a hat and ran downstairs to ask about trains to the airport. You have about half an hour the guy tells me, and there I was, wet-headed and not a bit packed, with things strewn all over the bed. I was a little crazed, to say the least, but I ran upstairs, threw everything pell-mell into my now-very-heavy suitcases and ran downstairs, where the guy helped me walk to the taxi stand. I got a woman driver who actually spoke pretty good English having lived a year in Queens, NY, and she got me to the station just in time to catch my 80 euro train to Madrid.

Once out of the train station, I hailed a cab for the Madrid Airport and $40 later, I heaved my cases through Terminal 1, wondering which airline I had actually chosen in my crazy haste! My boarding pass was copied onto my thumb drive, but there was nowhere to print it out. Finally, I realized it was also on the computer and took the whole thing over to the Easy Jet line! I swear, I had no recollection of choosing Easy Jet! Anyway, I checked two bags but still had to carry around my over-loaded, computer-holding messenger bag and my “Valencia” bag I had gotten to hold the overload. I have a LOT to learn about packing light for travel. A LOT.

I headed toward my gate with about 20 minutes to spare, and finally, at around 4 pm, got something to eat; I don’t like to fly on an empty stomach. As I looked around, completely unable to eat another piece of anything “spanish,” I saw the beacon, the place that has done more to sustain me during these six weeks than any other place, the place that, 15 years after having first discovered it, still makes me smile. The place I got a muffin and a coffee, the only food I’d have until about 8 pm. This place:Image

This is a picture of a Starbucks in Dublin, but I did not have a second to take the picture in the airport.

Now, it’s 11:20 pm, I’ve had a simply hideous dinner in the Hilton Express at the airport, and am listening to a mixed version of an elevator take on the “Good Times” and “Welcome Back, Kotter” themes! Seriously, I haven’t heard current music in six weeks! There’s a jolly good group of futballers or rugby players drinking and laughing here in the lobby, the only place with free internet, and I am so happy to be hearing that lovely English accent!

I am off to bed, with tomorrow’s worries on my mind: Where will I go for the next few days (as it ain’t gonna be here); How will I get there with all these heavy bags; and Do I have a chance in hell of waking up early enough to get the free breakfast?

One can only hope. 😉

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