A few months ago, I was called to take an impromptu decision on traveling. I don't do that much. Ever, actually. The destination sort of begged me to book that ticket. Milan was calling. Again. After nine whole years!
So, long story short, last week I was in Milan. I do travel, given the opportunity, but I am not what one would call an avid traveler. This time the territory was kind of familiar. Not a lot has changed since I left Milan, except perhaps the construction of a huge expo center and the ongoing construction of a group of skyscrapers near the center of the city. Most of the places I went to, the cafes, and restaurants in my old neighborhood remained the same, again, with the exception of my block's Blockbuster; that's gone.
I don't know if it's the fact that I am older (improved as I like to put it) and more experienced now, I don't know if it's the fact that my Italian is much better than it used to be or the fact that my life feels quite in-place right now, but I really felt "at home" as much of an exaggeration as it may seem. I was able to do everything without -personally- needing to use anything else but Italian, the people no longer seemed to be distant and cold, as I remembered them. It felt the way it should feel: familiar.
I was in great company (thank you Mouskou sisters!) and we had a great time enjoying "gli aperitivi" and all the delicious dishes and happy hour buffets (we'll leave that thick pizza of the first night out of the list). And yes, the idea of a mozzarella bar was genius! Well, some shopping did occur as well and some serious visual stimulation and inspiration came along in the process.
Also, imagine my surprise when I found out that one of my Korean classmates from 2002 was in town too for business!
Now that low fare airlines are a reality here too, I'll definitely, absolutely visit Milan more. Not just for fun. Hint Hint.