We couldn’t pay for a hotel until Monday because we were stranded in Madrid with very few Euros and my mother’s card only worked in France.We found some coins and used a payphone to call our host in Estepona to explain the situation, request some Euros (to be reimbursed), and offer assistance with rescheduling our departure.

We got a taxi and asked him to take us to a cheap hotel that was probably used for “alternative purposes” somehow.Since we were Black female travelers, I honestly felt that people thought we were prostitutes due to their comments and our lack of Euros.

When we tried to request a room without paying a deposit, there was definitely a language barrier, but somehow we got it. We also asked Western Union to send Euros to our host because we decided that we would demand an emergency travel document if I couldn’t get my passport on Monday.Therefore, tickets back to Lyon were rescheduled for Monday night by our host.

Due to the stress, Madrid is all I can remember;the language barrier, trying to locate the U.S. Embassy, and finding nobody willing to talk to us Fortunately, someone eventually showed compassion for us and provided us with a contact number.We were fortunate to have little money at this point to get by until our wire transfer arrived.