The sheer number of things that can go wrong just when you thought that life was sweet.
A) You miss a cruise that was giving you a great cabin for half the usual price. And instead go in a plane for an exorbitant amount (since you booked it at the last moment), losing in the process your toiletries among which moisturizer, deodorant and facewash were prominent. (Doesn’t sound like that big a deal but for a girl, it’s like losing a part of herself. Think of what one would do when the skin starts feeling dry and flaky and the face needs instant exfoliation. Oh my good God!)
B) You do a late check-in because of network issues and end up paying much much more than your flight ticket. Kudos, you just succeeded in creating an unlucky day streak.
C) You check your email on some whim and discover that you booked a wrong flight back home. Daaaaaaamnnnn. Not only do you lose your precious euros, but now you have no way to get back. (The holidaying period is over. You have to be back in time for class!)
D) The flight that you paid so much for is delayed due to snow storms, and you are cold and hungry and thirsty (remember the security guys confiscated your water bottles?)
F) You got someone to host you on Couchsurfing for the first time. She said she was into music and you assumed finally you would have that novel native experience that you so craved for. But wait. Your flight is delayed indefinitely and the distance of her house from the airport is no less than 3 hours, because it is 2 in the morning and night transport is scarce and expensive. So there, happy couchsurfing!
While weighing my chances of visiting Spain and considering going back to my hostel, I fell asleep. When I woke up next, I found a guy beside me prodding me awake.
‘Oh thanks,’ I mumbled and somehow made it out with my backpack in tow. I trudged to the waiting room, checking the time.
2 effing am.
What on earth was I supposed to do? The trains would start moving from 5 am. As for the buses, I needed some time to get acquainted with the transport system of Spain. Download some app. Do some research. Bla bla blah.
“Uh do you know how to get to this place?” It was the guy who had woken me up.
“I really have no clue but I think we could check up on maps,” I guessed. “Or ask at the tourist information.”
For a while, we sauntered, looking for the right window of information and the right bus. I was a little glad the guy was with me. And it seemed as if he was glad of my presence too. Two noobs are better than one, I guess.
It came out that the guy was gladder because he was traveling from Denmark and had no suitable currency to pay the bus driver with. They don’t accept cards, you see. Yayy! I finally got a chance to act like a good Samaritan!
We got down at Puerta del Sol and parted ways. By the time I reached the train station, dawn was about to strike. It was almost 5 am. The first Renfe of the day was about to run. I took the one to Alcala de Henares, the birth place of Cervantes. That’s where my new friend lived. I thought finally I was getting there. Things were finally about to get better!
But that was a ruse. When I checked the map, I realized that her place was reachable only by bus, the earliest one of which was 2 hours away. Bummer.
Now what was I supposed to do that early in the morning? Stay at the renfe station? Or at the bus stand? Read a book? Watch the sun rise?
And suddenly it struck me. A sun rise sounded nice. Watching the sky develop into a multi-hued canvas, watching the ball of fire emerge from its throne up there.
So, the thrill of watching the sun rise over the horizon kept me going. I walked and walked. And walked some more. I probably walked for about 4km. Or 5? I lost track of time. I noted only the various shades of the sky, as it turned from violet to indigo to blue to yellow to orange. It was beautiful. I did not take pictures. I did not talk. I did not think. I just watched. And soaked. Soaked in the dawn.
*The girl in the brown boots*
The above account is a work of fiction based on real life characters and happenings in and around IIFT (or the globe, for that matter).