A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
I don’t really like being stuck at places, never been a big fan of that. However being a student also means you would have serious budget restrictions when it comes to planning a trip to somewhere, I fell for the low price trap and during one of my recent trips abroad, I was flying Ryan Air and decided to take the cheapest way out and spend a night on transit at Girona Airport, Spain.
It was only after reaching Girona that I realized that I was pretty much stuck in one of the smallest airports I have ever been to for a good 9 hours. I was flying to Schiphol the next day and was obliged to make do with the little space I have. Going to Barcelona for the night wasn’t an option since it was a hundred miles away and besides we reached Girona at 9 pm. So here I was stuck in an airport in the middle of nowhere.
Anyway I saw a solitary café in the airport and came to the conclusion that this was the only form of entertainment at the airport, besides this would be a harmless opportunity to test my rudimentary Spanish on an unsuspecting victim. So there I went to the café and mumbled in a heavy accent, “Como estas, Me gustaría la beer cerveza!” . I got my beer and awkward looks from the guy at the café who apparently was fluent in English.
What next?! Well the only thing left to do, since my phone had died out, was to try and socialize with people. So I got chatting with a guy, interestingly this was a very interesting conversation. This was a guy who was actually working with the United Nations in Western Sahara. And he was a De-miner, the first one whom I ever met in my life! Soon we got talking and within half an hour I had known more about Western Sahara, than I ever could know by reading a book or watching a documentary. Sometimes taking the step of approaching people and starting a conversation can vastly increase your knowledge it seems!
Anyway after some time I had to go to sleep, the seats were not an option since I needed to stretch out to sleep out and sleeping on the floor was the only option, so I slept by the side of an airport pillar after using a book as an impromptu pillow and ducting my backpack around my hands. After about 5 hours I was woken by some police officers who were apparently telling me loudly, in Spanish, to get up. My whole body was aching but I survived the night at the Airport and was on my way back to Holland.
As a wise Man/Woman once said, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!”