Friday, October 3, 2008

more longwinded proof that i am, indeed, in italy

I now have a working BBC decoder, so I have been eagerly soaking up news of the VP debate and continuing financial saga. And last night I found CSI in Italian – hooray for CSI. The episodes were from season one, so since I’d already seen them, I could follow along fine. I’ve noticed that all the dubbed Italian voices sound the same. I don’t know if they only have ten people who do all the voice-over or what, but I can tell that’s going to get pretty darn annoying.

The other day I went into the city of Milan – how absolutely drop dead gorgeous. I had to ask the nice men at the bus stop where to go, but soon enough I made it to Il Duomo via autobus and metro. I didn’t linger too long in the Piazza del Duomo. They were filming some screaming teen girls for MTV Italia (I didn’t know what they were doing at the time, but later I actually saw the footage on that channel).

I made my way through the city, soaking in the architecture and discovering gorgeous cathedrals and chapels quite unlike the famous gothic Duomo, but more to my taste. I felt so embraced by the city somehow, like I was welcome there, especially as I got away from the more touristy piazza. Tourists make me nervous, even when I am one. Actually, it’s the industry marketed at tourists that makes me nervous. I would rather be in a store where I know they only speak Italian than in one catering to foreigners where they might try to use English with me.

Later, I got thoroughly lost and had to forcibly remind myself how much I love walking through the city as my stomach grumbled and feet ached. I sat on a bench in one piazza (that is, a square – it can be anything from the grand courtyard before il duomo or the area in the middle of a traffic circle where there is a news stand and some benches). People in Milan apparently love to sit on benches. The baby and his grandmother on the other end of the bench waved and said “Ciao Signorina” to me. Lots of the requisite old Italian men sitting around and enjoying each others’ company. Lots of people reading newspapers. Lots of teenagers being, well, teenagers. And lots of dogs too (but not strays).

I should have bought a coffee or a pizza, as much for the experience as the nourishment, but I stubbornly set my mind to spend no money.

As I made my way back to the metro, beautiful business people were leaving work, and the many cafes and bars were setting up apperitivi, the Italian version of happy hour. I can’t wait to partake in that ritual.

I didn’t take any pictures while in Milan this time. I was stubbornly trying not to stick out too much. Next time I will have to just get over myself….

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