On the train to Malpensa Airport in Milan, all packed up. I count to 5 over and over before we leave the apartment–two roller bags, two backpacks and my small bag. Leaving our airb&b apartment, which has served us pretty well this week, we need to leave the keys on the table and leave the building. If I forget anything, we cannot go back.
We have completely given over to living la vita turistica di Milano. Gone are my pretensions of traveling like an Italian. At least in Milano. Our apartment is in Brera, the West Village of Milan, and we are in the most kitschy part of the West Village. Every restaurant caters to English speaking tourists. There is pizza with hotdogs and French fries on it. I’m sure there is the British equivalent. I just don’t recognize it. When we were in Venice last year, we spent an afternoon sitting in Piazza San Marco, with ice cream (Julia) and gin and tonic (me), listening to two dance orchestras and watching other tourists pose with pigeons on their arms. In Milan, it seems comparable to sit in a cafe on the via Dante. Julia has been lusting for a slushie -that really tastes like watermelon although just as incredibly sweet an any American slushie. I have a gin and tonic (in these ridiculously expensive tourist cafes, a small glass of beer is the same price as a mixed drink and I enjoy gin and tonic in the summer. And so rarely order one.). We share a plate of cheese and meats. The servers bring potato chips and olives, just like Venice, an excellent way to encourage a second drink. There is music from whatever is the boom box equivalent. It plays pop, mostly American and mostly impossible to understand. It soon becomes white noise and not bothersome. The people watching is as good as last year. Lots of Asian travelers and women in head scarves, none speaking English. I’ve read that Americans have been scared out of European travel and tonight I wonder if that is the case. Continue reading
Not so early in the morning but Julia is still asleep and I’m going to let her be for awhile.
We have been in Milano for 36 hours, gotten somewhat settled, walked a lot, spent hours in the daVinci Science Museum, eaten gelato and seen the Last Supper. I was last in Milano 32 years ago and although the I remember nothing about city or its sights, I vividly remember the energy and how that energy wraps its arms around me.