Thursday, February 14, 2013

Terminal A to G

I've heard that eating right before bed affects a person's dreams. I'm not sure how much truth there is to that or not, but I do know I have had some strange dreams the past week while taking an antibiotic that requires me to get up in the middle of the night to take it -- with food. On the bright side of things, I made it back to Spain.

It was my final day in Spain before my trip back to the United States. I had a flight to catch at 2 p.m. The weather was nice, sunny and warm. It was a nice relief after the long overnight bus ride in to Madrid. I pulled my two bags behind me as I wheeled through the airport terminal. I am about 8 hours early. It was more or less a routine trip, except the airport was new (rather, nonexistent . The airport was huge, with multiple runways and seven different terminals. My bus had let me off at terminal A.

I don't know why I was stressed; I wasn't short on time, but I had no clue where to go. I pulled out my ticket and saw Terminal G. Then I found a map of the airport. Terminal G was at the opposite corner of the complex, which included the other side of multiple runways. So how was I going to get  from Terminal A to International Terminal G? By this time I have about 7 hours before my flight, and I know I have to get there, check my bags, and make it through security. I begin looking for an airport employee, an information center, anywhere I can ask how to get from A to G.

When I finally find it, I have a discussion in Spanish. But they tell me most of the airport's ground transportation is still inoperable, but there will be a bus in about 15 minutes, and there will be another bus at 2 p.m. Definitely not what I want to hear at that point in time. The bus picks up at the other end of the crowded terminal I am in. If I don't catch the bus now, I am likely going to miss my flight.

Running through an airport is never fun, especially when you are carrying two bags, both packed to their max. I'm dodging people and objects as I fly through the airport trying to get down to where the bus will pick up. As I arrive to the bus stop, I see the bus about 10 feet away -- already pulled out into traffic, headed away from the bus stop. I sit down outside for a minute to try and gather my wits before getting on the metro and going elsewhere in the city. I get off a few stops later at a bus station and find a taxi.

Through all of the excitement I end up getting to Terminal G a few hours later -- about 3-4 hours before my flight. I'm on time at this point I think. I go check my backs and get to security. When I arrive to my gate I realize that I left a bag at the security checkpoint. Thirty minutes until boarding. I arrive back at the security checkpoint and describe my bag. They haven't seen it. That is when it hits me that I was only carrying two bags with me--both checked before getting to security. I hadn't had my third bag the entire time; I must have left it on the bus. With 15 minutes left until boarding and six hours since I got off the bus, I didn't have much chance. I didn't know what to do. In fifteen minutes, my ability to make phone calls to Spain would almost disappear. If I didn't make the call now, I may not see my bag again. I hope that someone will see the name and address written on it and somehow it will make it back to me in the U.S.

I woke up at that point so I don't know how the dream ends. I could make something up but it simply wouldn't be as interesting and crazy as the dreams tend to be. If only dreams could "to be continued..."