Thursday, June 29, 2006

turn right around and let those eyes follow

A rainy morning in Milan, and I thought it would never be possible. It did however rain throughout the night last night and a bat flew into and out of the house (milan has upped the number of bats in town to take a bite, quite literally, out of the mosquito population, which I can attest 6 itchy times to be a problem). So perhaps in the spirit of turnaround also seen in my life, Milan has decided to give us all a break from weather bordering on 40°C (100°F, which as a Celsius-reader really freaks me out) to give us a bit of thunder and lightning... well speak of the devil, there it is.

I came to realize yesterday that I would not be the most busy person in this office, I would not be a superstar by any means, taking on projects of my own and impressing those around the office. I have come to terms with being a foreigner with Italian not quite good enough to kick photo ass and constantly be learning. So I've undertaken more writing, aside from this blog, because I have the space to think. I have even more space to do so because of the language barrier, I get to enclose myself in a little English bubble of my own, letting my mind spill out rich, specific-filled phrases in the effort to construct something or other. So we'll see what another 3 weeks at the office will give me... a collection of essays? a novel? At the very least I will have this blog, I 'll have to keep having adventures after Carly leaves on Sunday for Florence and after Marina leaves this afternoon for Amsterdam and other locations TBA. Although I will miss them dearly (we've hung out everyday for the last three days, with mosquitoes as well come to think of it), Matilde (aka Gongina) will return this Saturday from Scotland, so perhaps the adventures will just get started. But, nonetheless, I will continue observing this continuously fascinating life.

On more than one occasion, while walking down Corso Vittorio Emmanuelle II or Via Dante, I've noted tourists (their pale skin flags them as foreign) sitting at caf├ęs and watching the people as they pass by. I don't blame them for their fascination with the people here, the environment overflows with aesthetics: design, fashion, personal aesthetics, and the general pleasant apperance of the people... if they were wearing potato sacks (think toga) they would still be attractive. The thing that I find funny about these people watchers is how obvious they are, positioned towards the oncoming people traffic, taking their sweet time to take in every single detail of the look on two legs passing by. If you were a Milanese, I don't think your head would swivel in admiration (unless of course you are an Italian man attracted to a passing woman, who stoically tries to ignore the hooting, hollering, looks, and faces).

If you are a Milanese, the whole process is much more subtle. The eyes scan that look on two legs much more quickly, shoes first and a quick sweeping flick of the eyes back up to the face, and away. I can understand that they've perfected this glance having grown up in an environment full of visual overload always. I have to say I am glad I anticipated the potential overwhelming sight of Milan with its architecture, design, fashion, people. Otherwise, I might just have been floored, dizzy with too many places to look. My slow eyes would not have been able to flit and register it all. I can only imagine what how powerful the Milanese glance in love or lust must be, giving attention for more than just that quick one-two punch assessment but settling and quietly taking much more in, connecting.

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