52.3lbs. Dammit. “Guys, the Uber’s here!” my dad yelled from the front door. “Uh ok, just take out the jacket,” I said to my mom.
“The white one”
“No, that’s tan, the other one.”
“Ok got it.”
“Wait actually I really like that one.”
“It doesn’t look very European. People dress differ—“
“Ok ok just let me weigh it now.” 51.2 lbs. DAMMIT.
All right, pause. Let me tell you how I got here. Three hours before my flight to Madrid, barely packed and barely awake. Let’s rewind a bit. August 15th: for about the 100th time, my mom reminds me that I absolutely have to be packed by this weekend. I was probably watching Game of Thrones, or a video about Game of Thrones, and not listening to a word she was saying. School was starting August 21st for Penn State students. My program in Madrid doesn’t start till September 4th, so I had decided to make the trip up to Penn State and say bye to all my friends before I left. So I would be spending that whole week there, and then coming back the next Sunday, the 27th. Then, on Monday the 28th my parents and I would leave for a short vacation in Italy before my program began. The vacation was planned last minute, and I had already bought my bus ticket back from Penn State, so much to my parent’s disdain, I would be arriving home Sunday night and leaving the next morning. It was for this reason that my mother insisted I be packed before I left for Penn State. Of course, I decided that I could totally just stay up all of Sunday night and finish packing then
So, on August 21st, before I left for Penn State, I took a bunch of clothes and put them in a suitcase, and proudly presented it to my parents, claiming that I was “totally packed” and that they had “nothing to worry about.” If the situation I created for myself wasn’t already bad enough, just wait, it gets so much worse. On my parents’ visas for Europe, it clearly said “Schengen,” which meant that they could travel throughout the entire Schengen region. Right before I left Penn State to come home, my dad gave me a call. He asked if I was sure that I could travel to Italy with my Spanish Student Visa. I was pretty sure the answer was yes, but I checked my visa just in case. On it, it clearly said “Espana” where theirs said “Schengen.” That’s when we went into panic mode. Although I was almost 99% sure I was allowed to after a quick Google search, my dad had heard otherwise from a coworker and insisted that I go to the Spanish Consulate in New York City and make sure. This didn’t sound too bad to him, since he thought that I was fully packed and just had to make a trip to the city in morning, and then come back and catch the flight. Little did he know how vital those few hours were and how much work I had to cram into them.
Imagine this; the Spanish Consulate opens at 8 AM. Our appointment was at 8:30 AM, and our flight left at 2 PM. It takes an hour to the consulate and back from my house, and another hour to the airport. I got home from PSU at 11:30 PM Sunday night. In the next 12 hours I had to pack, go to the consulate and back, watch the new Game of Thrones episode (duh, priorities) and catch a flight. Oh, and maybe get some sleep. After two hours of packing and an episode I was barely awake for, I knocked out. Then I was up again at 6 AM, to shower, print out Schengen Visa forms just incase, and get to the city. When we got there, we were told I was totally fine and could travel around the Schengen reason as I pleased, which I pretty much already knew. We got back around 10, and that’s when I came clean to my parents. Not because I wanted to, but because it pretty clear that I had a lot packing left considering that I was running around the house like a headless chicken. Alas, I managed to finish packing and we caught the flight on time. Except I forgot my nail clipper. And my black shoes. And my pillow case. And my SD card for my camera. And my extra phone case. And my back up ID. And toothpaste. And most of my socks. Oh, and my bag was overweight.
Moral of the story, when your mom tells you something, just do it.