This is going to be a long one folks. I can already feel it.
Apertivo means Happy Hour here in Italy, and let me tell you, it’s really happy. Apparently you get drink specials and there is a free buffet of food. Now, I love to eat. I love to eat free. I love a little something snazzy to drink while I eat. Therefore I love Apertivo. All the Italians are doing it, it’s all the rage. In these past two days I’ve gone to Apertivo twice, and had a blast! Check me out!
Man when I tell you Apertivo is like a Jersey Shore, fist pumping, night at the Roxbury, fit of drunkeness, it truly is. Here the drinking age is 18, so you can imagine how crazy it gets. Thankfully though our hosts are something like a big deal so we had a table there that we could sit and be all flossy at. They also don’t drink, so we all stayed pretty classy. Whereas Grey Goose & OJ or some sort of Vodka & Juice cocktail is the typical drink in the States (add in LIT’s and Margaritas), here Bitter Campari Martinis and Spritzers are what’s hot in the streets. I’ve had them both, and I’m just not a fan. *shrug life*
So in the last two days its been about handling business, getting to know people, and just seeing Milan! I’ve succeeded in more ways than I could ever have wanted. First of all let me talk about Hair-Gate 2011. So everyone knows that in Europe you have to buy a converter for the plugs and also a converter for the voltage. I guess small American appliances are 120V and in Europe it is standard 230V. Well I hooked up my Chi to the wattage converter and went on my merry way. I should have paused when I saw that it burned two dents into the table. I just thought the plastic was weak. I put my bonnet down between the Chi and the table, then moved on. I grabbed the iron, and quickly tapped it onto my roots just to get the straightening started. About 5 seconds later I started to feel hair falling onto my face. I thought it was the weave. I reached up into my bangs and was able to pull hair out. MY HAIR. I managed to remain calm, but somewhere in the back of my mind I was losing it. I finally looked down and saw that my bonnet had holes burned all over it too! Thankfully, I have a ton of hair. Lesson learned the hard way, 230V makes turns the Chi into a freaking torch!!!! I just need to figure out these European appliances. I was able to cook a full meal, but almost burned down the entire flat boiling a cup of water in the microwave!
Moving on, the cat-calling and such has truly gone to new heights. Yesterday on the tram an old man came and sat back with us while we were on our way to the school. It was strange because there were so many other places to sit. He started speaking in Italian, I responded with my typical “Non Capisco” which means “I don’t understand you” and he acted annoyed. However, he started looking at me funny and saying “Ahhhh Bella!” Of course I’m polite so I’m saying, “Grazie, grazie” but then he just kept going. He kept pointing at me and Candace exclaiming “Bella!” He tried to tell me that he was a lawyer, by giving me some business card, but I didn’t buy it. Then he started asking me to come back to his house and work for him. He basically said “I want you to come clean my house.” Um what!? When my irritation with him was OBVIOUS he started making kissing/licking faces and sounds. Ugh! I couldn’t wait to get off that tram!
Then today, I’m sitting on the metro and this guy comes and stands RIGHT in front of me, completely invading my space. Sure it was crowded, but then it started to thin out and he wouldn’t move! There were times when our legs were actually rubbing together. When Candace finally snapped this picture, he moved back some, but it was SO UNCOMFORTABLE!
Candace kept making it worse because she was CRACKING up. It made me laugh, and then it was just so odd. As you can see, there is enough room on the train for him to stand somewhere else. I’m going to have nightmares about that 20 min train ride for a few nights.
Next up was IKEA, which is always a good time. We needed to get a few items for the apartment. You think shopping at IKEA is hard in the states? It goes up a notch when everything is also in Italian. Womp. Fun thing though, they still sell hot dogs there! Only they are super expensive. We left IKEA in a hurry to head back to the city center because we were going to meet up with someone from CouchSurfing.com. Basically it’s a site where people post a profile and their couches to host strangers travelling around. You can host people or you can have a profile just for meeting up for coffee or hanging out. We met with Phillipo and he is your typical hot Italian guy. He took us to the Castello SFresco which is this extremely amazing Castle, and we went to a bar in the park inside of the castle grounds for, you guessed it, Apertivo!
Come to find out, this is part of the park that also houses the Palace we had Apertivo at the night before. Very cool! Milan just has so much to see and experience, it’s amazing! Roberto Cavali’s cafe is here too.
Tonight was also Vogue’s Fashion Night Out in Milan as Fashion Week is approaching soon! We got lost heading out to the fashion streets but eventually landed at Il Duomo where there was a huge crowd, with a projector screen showing a Cardinal speaking. I’m guessing they were having some event/ceremony inside of Il Duomo cathedral, and they were broadcasting it outside. It was crazy out there! Between Vogue’s Fashion Night Out and the event taking place in Il Duomo, folks where in full hustle mode. Like this guy:
It’s been a crazy past few days, but we’re making it happen. Found out that we didn’t have class until Monday so that was a win. I’ve truly not thought about class at all so far, and that’s a good thing! I’m still being eaten alive by mosquitoes. It’s really really bad. I can’t even count on both hands how many bites I have.
Milan is awesome, I can’t wait to explore more of Italy. I’m considering a quick trip to Pisa or Genova or something this weekend, but I’m not sure. Candace and I will be hitting up the island of Capri, and of course all of Tuscany in October. Can’t wait!