Buongiourno! I am visiting the city of Milan, Italy for 30 days and will be sharing my journey with you. I have long wondered from where some of my characteristics emanated. My love of Italian food, of fashion, my affinity for love and affection. My great grandmother Laura Bailey was born Laura Taliaferro, which was a wealthy planter family who traveled from Italy to southern Virginia. I didn’t know her well, she died when I was young and my grandmother didn’t speak of her mom’s personality and upbringing much to me. I never met my great grandfather, I don’t even know his name, but apparently my Italian roots run pretty deep.
Last summer I went to see Eat Pray Love and I knew I wanted to visit Italy. Bad. I was taking a Video Performance and Writing class in the fall at George Mason where we learn how to write copy and speak well on camera. One of our assignments was to write a 30 second commercial on some service that George Mason offers and lo and behold the Study Abroad program in Milan was on the list. On top of that, one of my professors heads up the program. Talk about getting just what you ordered. I applied for the program in the Spring and the rest is history.
I arrived in Milan on July 1, 2011 early in the morning. The first thing I saw in the Malpensa airport was a stunning Italian man walking, no gliding through the concourse. He was perfect: tall, looking lean in a navy pinstripe suit with his perfect hair and Italian shoes. I thought I had died and gone to fine man heaven. I composed myself and continued on to the bancomat, which is Italy’s version of the ATM. Their railway has a line called the ATM. Unfortunately the bancomat was empty which caused me a problem since I had not exchanged any of my money for the euro. Crap! So I went to the exchange and bought a bus ticket for 7,50 Euro.
I struggled outside with my luggage which all bags combined was probably my entire body weight. I managed to get to the bus top and the bus shows. The driver takes my bags and tosses them under the bus with everyone else’s. Jeez, glad I didn’t pack anything delicate in there. I am really excited know because I am on my way to the city. The ride is about 50 minutes or so and takes me to the center of Milan to the train station. Once we arrive we disembark the bus some strange dude with a little cart asks me where I am going. I say I don’t know and continue to the other side of the bus to pick up my bags. He follows me and keeps asking. Dang!! So I show him the address and he days ok, grabs my bags and starts walking.
I follow him over to the taxi stand where he tells the driver where I am going. Turns out my hotel is outside of Milan. Great. I climb into the cab and then the dude puts his hand out. I’m like what, I don’t have any money man! The driver takes off and starts telling me the dude was one of those people who “help” you and then demand money. Oh well, didn’t have any to give him. We proceed through city and I am enjoying the sites. Finally we arrive at the hotel and I get all checked in. I pretty much fall into the bed exhausted because my flight left at 3:25pm the previous day and arrived in Frankfurt at 11pm U.S. time but the time is 6 hours ahead so it was really like 7am and then we fly into Milan around 9 so I am tired.
End of Day 1. Tomorrow Day 2, Roommates, Dorms and Duomo, Oh my!