Milan at August- Dead City

As I like to call lovingly Milano during the August time – the dead city

Some people love it, some people hate it and most are not here!

The usual morning rush hour of people storming to the tabaccherie to grab their famous brioche and the cappuccino has been replaced by shut down stores with chairs being put upside down on the tables. 

The neighbours with the shouting children and were at the end one of the two parents shout out “Basta!” and sigh a relieved “Madonna” once the children have finally left their homes is replaced by a utter silence and only the cracks of the floors of the beautiful and old homes can be heard. 

Even the advertisements and the public transportation are affected by the literal shut down period of the whole city. The metros arrive every 15 to 20 minutes rather than every 5 minutes. Instead of the low cost, high quality advertisements for resteraunts the advertisement use the only words, which will make an impact during this time! They say: “We are open!”. That is all that is needed to attract the remainders of this city. 

From hairdresser, bars, resteraunts to dry cleaners they have all shut down and a hand written sign tells us when they will be back.

Ah Milano how beautiful you can be when parking can be found without any problems, when there are no traffic jams! We – the few survivors, who have staid behind enjoy the warmth without any loud noises and crowd of people and sit outside by one of the few open places and drink peacefully our Aperol Spritz!


Random everyday quotes

Once in awhile we hear powerful quotes from random people at everyday situations.

They might be powerful once that stick to our mind or the once, which make us chuckle or see certain occurrences from a different perspective and make you think for awhile or longer about them.

Below are some listed from people at every day situations:

  • If it is cold you wait, if it is not you eat. ( Lianne, entrepreneur/ Internations dinner organiser -about food)
  • Just because they belong together it does not mean that they have to be always together (my mum/ Hale, an engineer- about packing shoes separately but also applicable to many other things)
  • If you cannot hear yourself how will you be able to hear me? (Random movie quote from the woman arguing with her husband – about any argument applicable basically)
  • Germans are driving aggressive as well however within the set rules (Deniz-me/ Contract Manager – about the driving style of Germans compared to Italian and Turkish driving style)
  • Everything has an end only the sausage has two (Random German saying- about any ending in life)
  • I am a free time millionaire (Edina, full time student who moved from Munich to Sarajevo to experience a full time freedom)
  • If you are a pilot you need to be able to read the clouds (Enrico/ soon to be helicopter pilot about being a pilot)
  • If I can help people, I feel like that I am not a nobody (Agusta, Portier in Milano about helping others)
  • Just because you have seen it, it does not mean that you have done it (Sam/ US soldier based in Germany since 10 years- about experiences in life)


balanceWe are humans.

Everyone reading this is a human being despite their exterior, beliefs and characteristics.

We eventually end up in the same place disregarding of any favourable or unfavourable treatment we have received during our life.

The person to your left has a mother and father and the person to your right has a mother and a father. These persons have people who care for them with the same feelings as other people have towards you.

You are no different than the person next to you. The person next to you is no different than you.

Your life should be as much worth as the persons you are walking, commuting, working and living with on this earth.

If you start to follow the mass then you are a dead fish. Why? Because only dead fish swim with the mass.

Have we not learnt from our history what happens if we follow someone directly or indirectly influencing is/ telling us what we should do and we all do it without having any doubt about it?

How many times have you read in the history books and heard from your grandparents about the past? Ah it was the past; therefore it does not count anymore. It CAN’T happen nowadays.

God gave us a great gift-OUR BRAIN! Don’t ignore this gift – USE IT!

It is a muscle, which needs to be trained.

Without training it, you will be eaten like the rest of the dead fishes.


I saw it, you saw it and they saw it – but what exactly did we see though?

Did we see what we were supposed to see or did we see something what we were supposed to not see?

But then…how can you forget something, which you saw once?

Isn’t it comparable to a memory that floats back into your mind when a certain moment occurs?

  • Hearing the song to which you were once upon a time getting ready to go out with your best friend. The feeling of excitement, the laughters – the happy moments you shared together
  • Walking on a certain square or street and being reminded of the person you were once walking along that street and remembering the conversations you had
  • Seeing a certain movie and remembering, which brings you back to the memories of that time period of your life.

Ah memories – they serve you so well and the hunt you so well.

The memories you want to cherish, the once you want to forget and the once you want to ignore.

What would you be without the memories?

Would you be an entirely different person or someone close enough to the person you are today?

Are you then not yourself “just” a memory? And if so, would you want to be forgotten?

What do I see, you see and they see when looking at you?

Being independent

What is actually the meaning or measurement of being independent? Nowadays many people live alone, so are they called independent?

Can a person changing tires be called independent or choosing from the menu be called independent?

I was speaking the other day with a friend, who was in the process of organising her trip to Italy. I told her that the hotel she had organised provided for a free shuttle from the airport to the hotel, however she said “I am not anymore that independent. I prefer the easy way of taking the taxi straight to the hotel.”

For a moment I stopped. It surprised me that the act of arriving at an airport, trying to find in an unfamiliar environment the bus station and accordingly the right bus to the correct hotel would lead to an independent act.

For many frequent travellers this above described short process is seen as very normal and even quite simple. As many know usually not only one mode of transportation is required to be taken in order to reach the desired destination.

However, it is true that trying to figure out the right place from where to take the bus, buying the tickets, renting a car and all the other countless things, which need to be figured at in an unfamiliar area are not the most pleasant thing to do.

The second time around it gets easier: Why are the second times always so much easier??

I personally thought the independency starts actually at a different level like assembling the own cupboard, paying for all the utility bills, setting up the own business and so on. It was quite an eye opener to see that even such actions and decisions classify I dependency, which would mean that many people have become independent without being completely aware of it.

Once in awhile, we should all look back and recognise and appreciate what we have actually achieved; the hurdles, which have been taken, the decisions we have made (good, bad, easy or difficult), the path we have chosen in our life’s including the times we have changed these paths and the countless independent acts we had to show, act on and display in order to get to the point we are at the moment.

Continue being independent but remember that depending on others can be rewarding too.

At least, once in awhile.

Travel the world with Person Z

One night whilst sitting with a couple of friends of mixed gender, I decided to tell a story. It started with the following words:

Once upon a time, there was my friend called Person Z, who wanted to travel the world. Person Z had blonde middle long hair. The golden blonde hair, which would shine in the sun, eyes, which felt like sparkling stars when looked at. The body was slim and sportive since used to trekking and taking care of the body. Also food wise not a complicated human being either but one that would watch the food in taken. Since Person Z had announced to travel the world alone, there were many warning voices: “Oh alone to some dangerous countries. What might happen to you then? Take a pepper spray with you and all the necessary phone numbers in case of emergency. Nowadays you hear a lot what can happen of the rapes, the beatings, the thief’s. Just to see some countries, you can look at the places via Google. Travelling alone seems like a too high risk if you ask me”.

But Person Z hadn’t asked anyone for advice. Determined not to get influenced by the negativism Person Z continued planning the journey. But the voices did not cease: “Blondes stand out in the countries you are going to. You will be straight away seen as a tourist. Tourist means easy money or rich person in the poor countries you are planning on going”. Person Z responded “The way I dress gives away that there is not much to take from me. Furthermore, I am travelling to foreign countries fully aware of the cultural impacts and respecting the culture. I will be fine”.

So, a few weeks later Person Z travelled to the exotic countries, carrying a huge rucksack. Experienced the public transport, walked through different landscapes, towns and various countries, toured them and hiking them. Never did Person Z have to feel scared of being the only blonde in the bus even at night. Didn’t feel scared neither when two men were walking behind Person Z. Although, the foot steps were heard clearly and the ear’s automatically concentrated on the increase, decrease or constant noise of the footsteps. At night knowing that the feet might not carry you very fast when needed. Person Z got used to the extra attention as a tourist and continued the journey full of self confidence.

At this moment the male friends had a smug look on their face, so I asked them “ Why are you smirking?” One of them said “We, men, are always portrayed as the evil kind, who in the less developed nations hurt women and here you tell about the blonde pretty girl, who has not been harassed during her journey. The media is the only one pushing these stories out of boundary.”

I nodded quietly and continued with the story. There were of course moments when the cab driver over charged, when the begging kids or sales people at the bazaars were too insistent, when the hotel was not the cleanest but most of the time Person Z could get of this situations with a bit of work. Also the skill of talking in different languages has helped. One of the other males calls out“You should introduce her to me”.

My female friends eyes widened throughout the story in astonishment. One of them said with ignoring the previous comment “I have been wanting to travel alone since years but I did not have the courage to travel because I am a woman alone and you hear always this horrible stories. That gives me new hope”. Almost said in a tearful voice. Giving up on a dream of the circumstances we live in. Another female said “I even am scared when going home alone from the club with my heels, if I could run away fast enough if necessary. Or when I am the only one left in the bus. I can’t imagine how it might be in a foreign country, where the cultures and the attitudes are so different than ours”.

“You are right” were my only words before once again I continued with the story.

Throughout this time Person Z long hair had gone longer, so people were staring more and the attention increased even more. Also the tan had changed to a darker colour from all the travelling at a warmer season. The huge rucksack was a giveaway of someone on their way of exploring new places. Some, who found Person Z interesting asked for pictures. “There are some pictures of me with strange people, which will end up somewhere but I will never see these pictures. One day they will say that was the blonde person who passed our town”. When going to bars the watchful eye on the drink was needed and as well with the offered food and drinks. “I might have faith in others and myself but I am not dumb” was the only sentence I got out of Person Z when asked to describe details of the scenes.

I picked up Person Z the other day upon arrival from the airport. We had managed to stay in contact so, I was aware of some of the adventures but was very keen on hearing more. Upon arrival the hair had become really long, shoulder long and as well his beard had grown. I said “How wonderful for you that you have made such amazing experiences by travelling alone.” Whilst regretfully thinking that this might be a privilege given only to one gender nowadays.