It seems as if April has been one long April Fools joke. I know I shouldn’t complain because I live in Spain, but I’m going to.
Spring Break Mishap #1
I had many plans for Spring Break. I decided I was going to explore Spain instead of leaving the country. My plan was fly to Barcelona on a Thursday and spend four days with a Couch Surfer from San Diego, Calif. During my stay, Bilbao was playing Barcelona IN Barcelona and I was going to get tickets. I was then going to bus to Madrid, then to Seville, Granada, Cordoba and finish my travels Salamanca.
Well, turns out there was a major transportation strike in ALL of Spain on that very Thursday. Usually, the Metro strikes on Thursdays, but it usually just means it runs less often. But instead, the bus system, metro system, and airlines were all going on strike. I was flying through Vueling, and they canceled all but 25 flights in Spain. Mine was one of them.
I ended up getting my money back that weekend, but it was stressful nonetheless.
Spring Break Mishap #2
I had finally figured out when I was going to leave again. I was going to leave on April 4. On April 3, I woke up to an email saying I had only $.17 in my bank account and my overdraft protection kicked in. WHAT?! I was about to travel for 2 weeks, how could I only have $.17?!
On April 2, however, I had pulled out $160, and it was the last of 5 or 6 trips to the ATM to withdraw money for my rent.
I looked into my account and it said I withdrew $320 on April 2. I knew that couldn’t have been true, because Wells Fargo only allows me to withdraw $160 a day.
I called Wells Fargo and they figured it was just an ATM malfunction and they filled a claim. I looked back into my account because I knew this probably happened before. And it did. All week. I called Wells Fargo back, and this time they thought it was fraud, they filled another claim, and canceled my card.
Perfect. Now I was in Spain with no debit card and no way to withdraw any money. But all this meant I wasn’t going to have a Spring Break and I didn’t need money.
I still don’t know what happened, but they granted me provisional credit. The investigation details were sent to my house in California along with a new debit card.
Now that my money situation had settled down, I was planning my last trip before I head home for the summer. This upcoming weekend, we have a 5 day break. I planned to make up for Spring Break and go to Switzerland and Barcelona.
But instead, I woke up this weekend with what I think is the mumps. I will be the fourth USAC student to get it this semester. I have yet to go to the doctor, but when describing my symptoms to two other students who had it, they both agreed that I probably have the mumps.
In the end, I still will have about 20 days in Spain before I leave for California. I will have to do my best to make up for the month of April.
Here are some lovely videos of the Basque Country and Bilbao I found on YouTube:
Fiestas de Bilbao
“The Mystery of the Basques”
Streets of Bilbao during an Athletic game