My flight took off on time with a cheery outlook on our arrival time. I was seated next to a nice, middle-aged lady who turned out to be a Cornell professor. We had a good discussion about studying around the world, traveling, and all sorts of things and then we each drifted into travel mode. I read some David Sedaris and watched a movie in Italian to get ready and then, suddenly, it was the middle of the night. So I tried to grab some shut-eye. I actually managed to sleep for an hour two in intermittent ten minute intervals. This made the trip go easier. I awoke in the morning (around 2 AM New York time) and watched as we flew over the Alps. It was absolutely amazing. We were just flying over your generic blanket of clouds, and then the mountains pierced through it for as far as I could see. I honestly thought about taking a picture.
Before long, we landed in Milan and headed off to customs. It was far from a stressful experience, taking about ten minutes all together. I had my first opportunity to use some Italian. An elderly fellow wandered up to me and asked in a heavy accent, “Delta? New York?” I then had to try to explain, that no I was not coming from New York, but Newark which sounds almost identical. So instead I just whipped out some Italian and directed the man to his baggage claim. It pretty much made my day. Then I found the shuttle to the stazione centrale di Milano. It was extremely cheap and the drive was very nice.
When I arrived at the station, I had seven hours until my next flight and decided that perhaps I would explore Milan a little. Unfortunately, several things were working against me. First, it was hot and I was carrying a fair amount of heavy baggage. Second, the area of Milan surrounding the station is unreasonably short on things to see. Third, it was Sunday, the day of the week when Italians don’t even pretend to work. Nearly all of the eight businesses anywhere near the station were closed. My options included two McDonald’s less than a block apart and a ristorante serving meals for about twenty five euro a plate. I returned to the station. Around this time, my body suddenly realized that it was five in the morning in New York and decided to punish me. My Italian and consciousness fading, I managed to buy a bus ticket from a little shop nearby and board the shuttle to Milan Linate Airport.
I then spent the next several hours drifting off in a metal chair and trying to order food and drink in my, by now, almost incomprehensible Italian. And now I’m writing this blog to kill the last of my time before I can check-in and head to Brindisi. I’m almost home.