After 14 hours of travelling, I arrived in Milano only to discover that, unlike me, my bags had not made it to Milano. Although pissed, I was welcomed with smiles and open arms by my old friend Matilde, her brother Niki, and Mati's friend Marina. I was resolved not to sleep my first day until the evening (although I was exhausted) so I stayed up and tried my very best to make conversation in Italian and get to know my surroundings. Assuring me that losing my bag was part of the experience (luckily I had another bag packed), Mati drove (as the rest of us held on for dear life... another authentically Milanesi experience I was told by Marina) back to her place. It was really nice to just sit back, and not sleep, and follow the conversation and already feel myself improving in Italian. Mati's family apartment is a nice and cosy two bedroom apartment with a nice breeze. The balcony overlooks a courtyard that feels so typically Italian, with bright coloured walls and many other balconies. Somehow things here are more lively. After much conversation (which, as Marina also tells me, typically centers around love and food), we finally went out to dinner. I feel wonderfully at home with Mati and her brother and mother Dorota, and look forward to spending much more time with them. My first day was spent sitting around, listening and laughing with my new company, still arriving mentally.
Dinner was tough, only because I grew increasingly tired. But with such lively company (and a bit of wine), I managed to stay awake through dinner, learn a bit of slang, and become more aware of the North-South animosity that exists in Italy. Still without bags, but well fed and arrived, I figured out where the hell I was going the following day (to WORK!) and was asleep without much trouble at all.
The following day, still a bit jetlagged (but of course!), I awoke at 7.45, had some cornflakes (yea, they're called something else...) figured out the whole shower apparatus (you have to sit down, no shower curtain, wild) and was off on the Metropolitana to work. Of course I had to get a bit lost. I overshot the street I was looking for, but wasn't too far off (at least I wasn't on the other side of the city). I am now working at the photo desk (i think...), scanning images using this super nifty slide scanner called the nikon super coolscan 9000. With a name like that, it can only be supercool. I'm a bit hungry but I'll get used to this Italianate schedule soon. For now, that's my story. I'm glad I am here, a bit pissed my bag didn't want to come with me, completely out of place, swimming in Italian, needing a cellphone, and a familiar face. Give it a few days and I'll be super.