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The usual morning rush hour of people storming to the tabaccherie to grab their famous brioche and the cappuccino has been replaced by shut down stores with chairs being put upside down on the tables.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


The ride

They were riding on their bicycles side by side since quite awhile. She started to not recognize the streets anymore. Out of nowhere her fellow rider kicked into the bicycle so that she hit the wall hard and her bicycle fell with a loud sound on the floor. She immediately felt her back pain and by the time she had recovered to look she saw only the back wheels of the person, who had done this to her. They had known each other for awhile and it came unexpected to her. 

With some pain she got up and recognised that she was in an isolated place. There were no people on the road. At daylight, with no person to help, all by herself, she started to walk in a crunched way. Painfully slow she took a step after step. The road would have been short perhaps under different conditions. She might have enjoyed the warmth of the sun, the sound of the birds and the slight wind.

However, today she barely recognized her surrounding. Her sole aim was to find a phone and call some help. At that time, she cursed her habit to not take her phone with her whilst being on the ride. She cursed removing regularly her credit cards from her purse and leave them at home so that in case of rubbery it would not be a big loss. Finally, she saw an internet shop. Her heart was beating faster and she moved faster towards it but the sudden pain bought tears into her eyes. Determined not to give up she bit her teeth and continued whilst her face was covered with sweat. So was her body. She finally reached the door and she her lips were curving upwards to a grin and froze in the midst. The hanging sign in front of the door with bright dark blue colours read “CLOSED”…[to be continued] 

The red car

Whilst a red car- – was driving on a long long way I saw the same coloured car with the same module just in front of me. It was faith I thought. It felt like I had found my soul partner and just in front of me! 

So I started singing: We belong together

Out of nowhere my soul partner changed lanes and took over. Now felt a bit heartbroken and thought it is normal that two develop at different speeds. Through time our desires, interests, lifestyles and even thoughts change. So, I was motivated like never before to recover the distance but recognized that a white car had pushed itself in front of me so the song became

Red, white, red. Red, white, red. So close but so far it seems. 

Nevertheless, I could see the red car and determined to catch up I overtook obstacles to reach it. To shorten the distance to my soul partner. A white car would not stop me; especially it if it was to reach my one and only. But then a truck was between us. So the song continued

Red, white, truck, red. Red, white truck, red.

Not being able to see my red car did not change my desire to catch up and get at the same level. Through a long time I worked on myself and tried to match up with the red car. I made some risky moves and some less risky once. Throughout the process, I found myself and but was still driven by my “old desires”. There was something I had found, which was irreplaceable-peace with myself. Not being fully aware of the consequence of this found treasure I continued on my way. Surprisingly, somehow I managed to overtake the white car and soon afterwards the truck as well. My heart was pounding out of excitement. Soon it would be 

Red and red reunited again.

So, I overtook them with immense pleasure and excitement. I did not take notice that I had not been able to see for a long time the red car. It was not an important factor because I knew that we belonged together. I did not question why the red car had not paced itself to match my speed so that we could be together going through the same journey and develop ourselves. These were not important factors and I chose  to ignore it.

I finally reached the end or beginning and was in front of the white car and truck.There was no red car anymore… All my expectations, desires, hard work, which I had reflected on this one red car were vanished as if they had never existed. But I knew that they had existed. So I sang to myself

Mirror mirror on the road, show a reflection of myself. 

I used to be red car with a specific brand. However,  I was not anymore a red car but a red and white coloured one and in the mirror I did not see only myself…I saw another red and white next to me, who was driving since awhile next to me. Perhaps, the start of the journey was for both of us due to different reasons, perhaps the experiences we had made during our journeys were completely different and shaped us in different ways. However, we had been driving side by side for awhile and appreciating ourselves existence but had never laid eyes as we did now. So, we continued driving side by side but this time fully acknowledging our presence and we song united: 

Side by side we drive along. Side by side we experience together.

“It’s not time that changes man nor knowledge the only thing that can change someone’s mind is love.”

Travel Anecdotes

Travelling…just when I hear the word I already get excited! There is a hint of adventure, excitement, something new… Where will I go? What will happen?

It is not as much travelling but more the people you observe at the airport and mainly in the plane. The stories, which occur and of which, some will be remembered forever and some will be forgotten a couple of minutes after their occurrence.

To start off with: Well, usually you know where you will go. You would assume so, although I got once in awhile the odd question from my seat neighbour in the plane flying to Istanbul “Are you flying to Istanbul as well?” Hmm…well yeah I am not planning on jumping in the near future out of the plane but my usual response was a polite “Yes”. I wonder how long it took that person to understand that it was not one of the smartest question for a direct flight?

On one of my business trips, a colleague of mine wanted to ensure that he had enough legroom and therefore asked to be seated at the emergency exit seats. It is quite popular with some, but not that much with the ladies, since we have to put our bags up. Which female would like to give up voluntarily our Mary Poppin’s bag ( Anyways, going back to the story: he asked for the seats at the emergency exit. The response from the check in counter personnel was “Sorry, but this plane does not have emergency exits”. His response was “I really hope that is not true”. What she meant was that the aircraft was too small, therefore there were no emergency exits located in the middle of the aircraft. But I fondly remember the moment when the people nearby heard this conversation and literally froze for a couple of seconds. It was hilarious! You should have been there!

One of my favourite plane happenings was regarding three people. Two beautiful women entered the airplane and sat next to this man, who had his seat in the middle. One lady was located to his left and the other one to his right. Soon after sitting down they started chatting and laughing (a bit of flirting included). The man seemed particularly happy and probably felt very lucky.). About 15 minutes after the plane took off the ladies got plane sick…. First, the one on the right and then the one on the left threw up into the sick bag. But obviously not wanting to give up on the entertainment they tried to entertain the man in the middle. Laughing and throwing up. Ah well, not so lucky anymore Mister are you then!

As bad as the plane sickness is, I think the worse group are the people, who are afraid of flying. Their fear is contagious to the non scared once. You know what I am talking about! The one, who panics about not hearing the landing gear coming out right before landing. The one, who constantly looks outside of the window, in a hectic way. (Yeah, you won’t see angels flying around). A (male) family friend of ours, who is very scared of flying held the hand of his seat (female) neighbour for the entire flight of 10 hours. After landing he left with a “Thank you” and was never to be seen again. At least not by her. That is probably one way of coping with it!

Dear Readers, I will be looking forward to seeing your travel anecdotes below at the comment section. Although, I have concentrated on flight travels, I would be looking forward to any other occurrences with any other means of travel.

Travel safe and enjoy your tomato juice!IMG_0045-0.PNG