Hola from Barcelona Espana (or as the Spaniards say ´Barthelona¨ - their lisp is sooo cute, I could easily fall in love with a Spaniard). I´m writing this from Barcelona Sants estacion (station). Well, actually, to tell you the truth I´m transcribing this from some notes and actually typing this a couple of days later but same thing I suppose.
My last two legs from Singapore to Doha and then Doha to Barcelona were a nightmare. Flew with xxxxxx - I won´t say their name for fear of being sued but it was a Middle Eastern Airline and NOT one that starts with E. Never flying with these people again. No wonder those f&%$·)ers hijack planes - it´s probably the only way to get any bloody service. The plane was dirty, the legroom was woeful compared to SIA and on both legs the inconsiderate pigs sitting in front of me reclined their chairs to the maximum. God I wish I had Jimmy with me, he would have had no hesitation in fixing them up. Remember the flight from Sydney to Lima Kath, and the Crocodile Dundee dude sitting in front of us? I dare say he had about a peaceful as a trip as we did. Gotta love kids, they have no fear at all in voicing their displeasure.
I had a bit of a laugh to myself though. There were heaps of genuine Arabs on board - you know the type, the ones who wear the long white dresses and the checkered tea towels - like what Gaddafi and the Saudi princes wear. Anyway, the first announcement came over the PA in Arabic, and the trolley dolleys starting running around like mad. They didn´t bother to repeat it in English, so like the paranoid and extremely tired and jet lagged Aussie that I am, the first thing that came to my mind was that the plane was being hijacked. I looked at my watch and we were an hour late to depart to I started panicking a bit. I have a St Christopher medal that my little sis gave me years ago and it never leaves my neck (it has kept me safe many times before - thanks dude), and a dear friend gave me a St Christopher bracelet just before I left (I was so touched - muchas gracias). So I had one hand around the medal around my neck, and the other clutching the medal around my wrist. I was holding them so tight I think I almost wore the print off them. Thankfully though, everything was OK. However, this got me thinking. I wonder whether I would have reacted the same if I wasn´t flying an Arab airline or if there weren´t so many Arabs on board? I like to think that I give everybody a fair go, and I stick up for the Arabs and people who follow the Islamic religion all the time. I think our anti terrorism laws are definitely racially based and not fair, but then again, am I really any different? Why was I so quick to jump to the conclusion that the plane was being hijacked? Was it because I was tired and cranky or do I really have some racism issues deep down? I hate being judged, but do I do the same thing? This is something that I will need to explore further and try to fix, so in a way, this was a timely reminder, something to think about as I walk.
Due to the delay in leaving Singapore my connection in Doha was extremely tight, as tight as these damn boots feel on my swollen airline feet. I had to run from the plane to the other end of the terminal. Why is it that when you are rushed the boarding gate you need is always the furtherest away? The second leg was really no better than the first, I really won´t ever fly with this mob again. However, in saying that, I arrived in one piece, as did my luggage, so I realy can´t complain. I am just sooo tired at the moment, I haven´t slept in days and I need a hot shower and a bed so I´m feeling a bit sooky.
When I arrived in Barcelona I thought I was going to come undone at Customs. I only have the first two nights booked in Pamplona and then will be winging it from there. The customs guy wanted to see my flights OUT of Spain and it took me a while to find my expedia itinerary for my flight out of Madrid. You know, I wasn´t even going to book a flight out, I was going to do this along the way, but ended up booking it from home at the last minute. Thank God I did, I didn´t think Customs would be so strict. However considering Spains economy at the moment, they probably can´t afford to have any other people entering the country looking for work. I was watching the news at the station and from what I could gather, their unemployment rate is around 24%. I think we hover around the 6-9% mark, so we really are the lucky country.
Am feeling pretty proud of myself though. Went against the guide books and rather than catch a cab from the airport to the station I decided I´d save some money and do it on the cheap. Found the free bus that took me to the airport railway station (not so easy to find, let me tell you) and then caught the train from that station to this one. Have just gone through the stations security checkpoint and have a three hour wait for my train. See, I haven´t even started the Camino and already I´ve changed - who thought I would be early for anything.
Will sign off now, my eyes re really heavy so I´m going for a walk to wake up. My train gets into Pamplona around 19:20 so hopefully I will be in bed by 20:00. It will be 48 hours since I´ve slept by that time and I really think I´ve reached my limit. Was going to walk around Pamplona tomorrow to sightsee before starting the Camino on Monday but I think I might rest up. The way I´ve timetabled things, I won´t have another rest day until about day 20 I think, so I don´t want to wipe myself out too early. Am too tired at the moment to think or feel nervous. My brain is slush, I´ll probably read this again one day and think WTF - this doesn´t make any sense, but I´m hoping it does.
Song of the day: Barcelona (of course): Jewel
Dedicated to my little 'la hermana' (sis) and bro in law. We've gone through a bit over the years and certainly had some rough patches, but we are family, we need to stick together and I love you both from the bottom oft heart