Rare Snowstorm in Madrid Creates a Stressful First Week
If 2020 didn't provide enough stress already, add a snowstorm to the midst. Something Madrid hasn't seen in 50 years.
January 9th, 2021 at 6:45 am Saturday morning. I was about 15 minutes away from the airport to catch my first flight from San Francisco to New York, when I received a message that my flight from New York to Madrid was canceled due to the severe weather conditions and rescheduled the same time tomorrow. After one hour of sleep from procrastinating packing my bags, I was stressed and way too frustrated. I went up to the United Airlines agent and was able to reschedule my first flight for the next day as well. Defeated and restless, I went back home to sleep away my sorrows. (Only solution at the moment.)
When I woke up, I was drained emotionally but knew I had to find a solution to this sticky situation. With everyone else in my group experiencing canceled and rescheduled flights days away, I felt my already rescheduled flight would also be rescheduled once more. Add the Covid test that must be taken within 72 hours prior to arriving in Madrid. Thus making my original Covid test invalid. The TAP Air Portugal agent told me over the phone that I should rebook my flight to a later date to allow myself enough time to schedule and take a new Covid test.
With the uncertainty of when the Madrid Airport will reopen and when the foot-and-a-half high snow-filled streets would be plowed, how can anyone be certain of much? People were snowed-in inside their cars for up to 12 hours. Others stuck elsewhere. Closed roads. Closed Airport. Nobody could get anywhere. How long would this last?
Since I've been temporarily staying with my parents, which is an hour and a half drive away from the airport, I had no way of reaching the airport without my parents dropping me off. (They only have weekends off.) So, my only option was to reschedule my flight the following weekend, which makes me arrive Monday, the 18th (first day of work). Fortunately, my program coordinator at my school was very understanding and even assured me that my Covid test for my new flight would also be valid for my first day of school. (Originally, I would have had to pay for another Covid test before I start work).
It is now Monday. Our groupchat has been bombarded with a superb amount of frustration and stress. Flights continue to be canceled and rescheduled. Some have flown into different transfer airports and are stuck in those cities. Everyone is trying real hard to stay optimistic, but not many of us aren't getting a break. This is a very unique time, as this snowstorm and pandemic is out of anyone's control. I'm just hoping that we all make it in due time and that our stresses will soon be over.
Bright side: We are all going to come out of this experience with a mental capability ready for anything. Our defeated souls will eventually triumph into bliss once we all get past this migraine of the ultimate stress-filled journey.