Friday, 27 August 2010

The Foreigner Returns

"Stiamo aspettando un temporale che non arriva," Sweated the pregnant lady in the lift to my remark, "Umido!"

Well I had to say something. Of course it wasn't until I got out the lift that I realised I had been living up to true national character again and falling back to the weather as the one and only source of small talk. Mentioning the humidity though seemed about the only thing I could think of though as it's 32c and hot and grey and thundery and my face was pale and shiny and all my clothes were sticking to me. Still no sign of that thunderstorm.

I was going to mention the heat but then I remembered that this would be a faux pas. The milanese KNOW it's hot in August. They don't need reminding.

Indeed, what I took to be an urban legend, of the Milan City Transport Agency spraying water on hot travellers, did turn out to be true today. At Duomo the fans were covering everyone in a light spray of water. But joy of joys I was able to catch one of their new elusive air conditioned trains today!

I was getting back from a lunch break with A, who's having lazy lunches at the moment on account of everyone being away on holiday, when I witnessed the above event. It's so weird in Milan right now. The city is like a ghost town, in most parts, except the very centre which is full of tourists, and all the shops are shut. It's a nightmare trying to find anywhere to get lunch. And I write this in full awareness of my snobbery, we were reduced to getting lunch from Autogrill and Spizzico (I actually enjoyed my lunches here but shhh don't tell the Itais).

Today I ate lunch at home before coming out which was economic given that the bar we went to was probably charging about 6 euros for a piadina (a wrap). We were in the beautiful but expensive area of Milan known as San Babila. It was really nice. I don't know why I was surprised. As we were walking past the Music academy "il conservatorio" we could hear the students practising. Plus we had our hands full of shopping from the cute art supplies shop we just went to. All very much like living in a poem. I feel inspired.

Enough blogging! I have paints and paintbrushes to try out!


Neutrino said...

"We are waiting for a storm that never comes"
I think we have forgotten what warm weather is in UK after weeks and weeks of the opposite. Glad to hear that Milan does eventually slow down even if it is only for one month.
Autogrill? What's the Brit equivalent?

Laruchka said...

The British equivalent would be a motorway service station canteen...I think it's owned by Burger King.