Hangry on the Plane: El Bocadillo


{ Disclaimer: Mom you probably shouldn’t read this, you already think the worst about my international safety}.

I’d have to say that from a small age my parents have been yelling at me for conversing with strangers. It’s a bad habit that I just can’t seem to break while traveling. You meet such interesting people along the way. For example, I sat next to a young gentleman in his 30s if I had to guess. I am pretty hyper vigilant when I fly internationally and I try to be overly aware of my surroundings. I noticed prior to taking off he was conversing in only Spanish with his brother. About 4 bathroom trips later…we started chatting. After all, a nine hour flight without conversation would be pure torture to me. I dusted off my rusty Spanish skills and attempted to conjugate verbs (mostly successful but slipped up and mixed a few tenses for sure). He seemed entertained by my Spanglish and was very interesting himself. What a world traveler he was! It fueled my fire to travel further and to the many unique countries he had already been. 
Most of you know that I get Hangry very quickly. (Hanger: anger caused by extreme hunger). I go quickly from I need a snack to–> I’m going to loose it if I don’t eat something RIGHT NOW. The stewardess could probably see it in my eyes as she handed me not one but three extra snack packs on the plane. I shared one with my new neighbor friend and struck up a conversation. 

He was coming from Madrid and worked on “telenovelas” (soap operas) so he was traveling for work. He laughed when I told him we watched them in my Spanish classes to help us learn the language, customs and culture. He proceeded to tell me about all of the places to visit in Spain. He warned me not to miss out on the delicious food and rich culture of Madrid. He also mentioned the word bocadillo (for the life of me I couldn’t remember what that word was). Naturally I just smiled and nodded politely. When he pulled out a prewraped ” Brioche Serrano” sandwich (AKA delicious ham sandwich on a crissant type roll). I could have hugged this random stranger! More times than you could imagine I’ve had this type of luck while traveling. It proves that kindness really does go a long way! This guy had his entire carry on packed to the brim with snacks. In my eyes I had hit the seating chart jackpot. He was such a nice guy and didn’t mind my messy grammar and excessive hand gestures. 
I think in our culture we seem to get tunnel vision. I too was guilty of believing we do most things the “right” way. However, in a lot of ways the USA is far behind the learning curve when it comes to languages and being able to communicate. Due to the close proximity, Europeans are almost forced to learn in depth about other languages and cultures. (While in Switzerland, the receptionist spoke SIX different languages). Chew on that for for a second, six languages. If they can do it, why can’t we? I hope that some day we too will catch up and broaden our scope of learning as a country. Moving internationally has definitely broadened my perspective of the world. So much so that I love watching US and world news from other countries broadcasting stations. It helps build a bigger picture than the one you get painted in the states. 

Ok that’s it! I’m done rambling and I feel a million times better now that I’ve landed in the USA 🇺🇸. After getting my rental car, Chick-Fil-A was my first stop. Dan flew the day before me for work. He is still pouting because I didn’t bring some Chick-Fil-A to the hotel (it would’ve been three hours old). So I guess we get to go back soon 😉 

For your entertainment here are our airplane selfies: 

  
  
When you find yourself in a bind and you can’t conjugate your verbs and hand signals are ineffective….Just smile. It goes a long way! 

Love,

Jenny 

Ps. And always, always, ALWAYS pack snacks no matter how full you are at the airport. 

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