HALLOWEEN AND “A TOUCH AND RUN” IN MILAN

Towards the end of October, when internet at McDo started failing, Eddie and I started to look for a new place where we could park ourselves and our computers. Being a Sunday, everything was closed, even the brasseries, but we finally found an English pub called Robin Hood, which is open every day 11.00-01.00 and where customers could access to free wi-fi. It started raining like hell and we ended up spending the whole day there. To make it short, that place has become my new home and I spend there at least 2 hours every day. The people who work there are really cool, all about my age and coming from different countries (England, New Zealand, France). In fact, hanging there doesn’t help me at all with my French, but when it comes to internet it’s definitely better than Mc Donald’s!

 

Eddie stayed chez moi for about 2 weeks, then went back to Mexico. We spent the last days and nights playing darts at Robin Hood, walking around the city and organizing amazing dinners, both italian and mexican. Actually, The Dinners chez moi deserve a few lines. They can be compared to those parties and dinners that used to be held in some rich person’s house, where strangers met and talked about music, poetry, etc etc. The only difference between those meetings and my dinners are that I am not rich at all, but cook great italian food, whereas people bring the boissons. Here you have a great melange of interesting human beings, coming from different contexts (Robin Hood, Language School, friends of friends..) and different countries, and even if many of them are perfect unconnues, in a laid back atmosphere and with a beer or a glass of wine everybody has a good time. I’m not sure these sorts of things could happen in Milan, at least not with everybody. I would feel a bit worried inviting people that don’t know one another and would feel sort of responsible for facilitating conversations..you know what I mean. Here, par contre, I don’t worry at all!

Without an oven and provided with only ONE electric stove the menu for Italian dinner has always been mainly pasta with more or less creative sauces, but believe me: it worked out perfectly every time! Pasta with tomato sauce with zucchini, pesto and cream, ragu/bolognese sauce and cream, saffron and cream, and, of course, risotto allo zafferano! When my dad came to visit me from Italy he brought, under explicit request, lots of saffron, sauces, and Grana, Parmigiano and Pecorino cheese, along with two jars of Nutella, the latter being served as dessert in the last two dinners (both with bread and nature, open with spoons inside). The Mexican dinner had cheese fried quesadillas (I would say sort of empanadas at this point, but I’m not sure the term is correct) and an attempt to make Tacos al Pastor which, according to Eddy, turned into something totally different (but yet again, I have no clue)..anyway it was veery spicy meat with home made tortilllas! Amy, a Canadian girl Au Pair here in Mtp, brought also a dish made with minced meat, crème fraishe and corn..mmmh delicious! At this point I think somebody will be hungry..this is why I’m writing this post at 07.40 am, when my stomach is still closed.

 

Halloween has been pretty sweet (actually it was Saturday 30, to be chronologically correct). As mentioned before, my dad took advantage of holiday on Monday Nov.1 to visit me, along with Serena, his girlfriend, and her mom (ok it might sound weird, but she’s a very cool and active woman, with an amazing culture, and not older than 65 I would say. My relationship with her daughter is friendly and extremely respectful, so no awkward situations at all..just to make this point clear).

Even though it had been a rainy day, we managed to stay dry while I took them for an evening walk around the city center. We started from Place de la Comedie + Esplanade, Antigone till Place de l’Europe, then walked up Rue de la Loge to the heart of the city center. We had dinner in a restaurant on Pl. des Martyrs de la Résistance and then I took them to my flat, which I had been tiding and cleaning all day long until it was spotless. After  a quick tour of the apt, which took like 2 seconds, and taking just time to change into a gipsy costume (which wasn’t a costume at all but just some colorful indian-ish clothes I had in my wardrobe and gipsy-like bandana), we walked back to their hotel and I went to Robin Hood’s. I also somehow convinced J., another very nice Canadian girl, to join me there, and we spent the evening chatting with the crew and drinking. After closure, we all went to Max’s, one of the bartenders, and drank the last beers there. I went home at an indefinite hour completely exhausted, and it means it had been a very nice evening.

 

The following morning I left with my dad and crew for a tour in the Camargue area. First, we visited Agues Mortes, a nice town surrounded by a Middle Age wall, incredibly cute and fascinating (although veeeery small). We had lunch there, and then headed to Saintes Maires de la Mère. We took a walk along the seaside and visited a church famous for having a completely black crypt dedicated to Sainte Sarah, worshipped by the Gitans. In the evening we made it Arles, our final destination before heading back to Milan. We made a quick tour of the town and visited it a bit better the following day, but I have to say that, despite being an aesthetically nice city, with fascinating churches and Amphitheater, it was quite deserted, and everything was closed, from shops to museums. By about 11.00 am we were hitting the road to Milan and made it home at about 05.30 pm.

 

It felt weird being back to the city. As most of my friends know, I don’t like Milan and I’ve never considered it as the place where I want to live. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s an amazing city to live in while you’re a student, full of clubs, pubs and art, and there are definitely some endroits that I find profoundly fascinating. Being my hometown, my relationship with the city is deep and controversial, but the values intrinsic to it, as money, career (you really made it in life if you become a manager of any sort) and ostentation are exactly the opposite of mine, so why living as a rebel in such an environment when there are so many different and beautiful places in the world, with a more laid back atmosphere and yet an higher quality of life? Luckily, I adore my family and friends, who made my week in Milan pretty bearable. I actually spent very nice evenings having an aperitivo with the girls from MBC (my Master course) and having beers in random places with Lea, Ichi, and other friends.

I was supposed go back on Thursday, but a Inbox saying that my best friend Marika was graduating that Friday made me change plans. Train to Lugano on Friday morning, Marika’s fantastic dissertation on Carlsberg diffusion in China, then massive grocery shopping and an afternoon in the kitchen with a couple of other girlfriends. We make food for about 50 people, and even though were were about 15, all of our guests greatly appreciated our work. The others went dancing, but I was too exhausted and went to bed. Wise decision, since my train to Milan was at about 06.40 am. As my first trip to Mtp, the cheapest way to get there was to take 4 to 6 trains and being prepared for a looong day of traveling. Luckily, I made friends on the way, who I traveled with until Marseille, their final destination. There, I found out that my train to Mtp had been canceled, but after a little moment of desperation (I was so freaking tired!) I managed to change the ticket with another one that left only one hour later, arriving in Mtp at 09.00 pm.

I thought I was calling it a day..I didn’t know that the best had yet to come…

 

 

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