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The usual morning rush hour of people storming to the tabaccherie to grab their famous brioche and the cappuccino has been replaced by shut down stores with chairs being put upside down on the tables.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

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] 


“I got more experience than you because I am older”, “I have lived longer and therefore have gained more life experience than you”.

Is it true though?

2 cars; one is 3 years old and the other one is 10 years old. They are both Mercedes.

The older car turns to the younger one and says “You need to follow my advice since I know much more than you.” 

However, the older car has been parked safely every evening in the same garage with the same portlier greeting him. His owner has remained the same. The person, who is doing his scheduled maintenance is known, he knows where to get the spare parts. The kilometer stand quite low since he and his owner did not like to experience much outside of their comfort zone. However, on Sundays he usually took a longer ride than usual but still within the parameters of known territory. Surrounded by familiars and familiarity.

The other one a so called “green horn” not as long on the roads as the older one, however way more experienced than the looks gave away. No settled garage yet, usually parking in the spots, which are available. He had to search many times for new destinations and has seen amazing places, which his owner and himself could not pronounce. Does it matter though? The owner not as experienced either; both had been searching for spare parts the other day. It had done double the kilometers of the old one and enjoyed testing new things out.

So, the old car had repeated a couple of times that he was the more experienced one, the more successful one.

The younger one with the temperament of his age answered back “It is quite easy to achieve the success you are talking about when staying within the comfort zone, with people and things, which always support you! The kind of ” success” I am looking for is not known to you but hopefully you will have one day as well the chance to experience it.”

The new car went on its way with the eager owner to see many more places and if settled one day to reminish on the memories. 

The old one looked puzzled at the rear end of the car and murmured to himself “I am the older one though” and returned back to his familiar garage.

The rabbit and the tiger

Once upon a time there was a rabbit and a tiger, who were travelling together. They went from mountain to mountain, from city to city and from country to country.

“What an odd combination we are” thought the rabbit. “A tiger and a rabbit travelling together? Where have you heard ever of something like this?”.

Both encountered many people from different backgrounds and experienced adventures they would speak years after about.

Their bond became stronger with every step they took in their journey. Their trust in each was unbreakable. Something special had formed between them. 

One day the rabbit finally decided to speak up and turned to the tiger, who was thoughtfully gazing at the fire whilst lying down.

“Tiger” it said. “I have something to ask you. Why have you chosen to travel with me, a rabbit, whereas you could have travelled with any other tiger you would have liked?”

The tiger gracefully stood up. Both were unaware of their beautiful surrounding; in the midst of the mountain with a fire to keep them warm enough, the stars on the sky giving them enough light to see more than shadows of each other.

“Well” speaking with a gentle tone, which could not hide the trust and caringness  the tiger felt for his companion, “are you not the only one, who sees herself as a rabbit?”

The past, which defines us…

These days I am in the process of moving countries and therefore I have to clear out my apartment. I am selecting between items, which I would like to take with me and items, which I can leave behind. Then the thought occurred to me that life would be easier if that is the way we could all go ahead. Let’s say to have every year a proper clean out and delete the data, which is not good for us, which weighs on us heavily or which has hurt us in the past (can be all three at some points) and move into the future, without them.

Although that would be seem at first glance quite convenient, there are two problems with that approach: First, we are not computers and therefore cannot select data, which we want to delete from our long term or short term memory. Secondly, our past defines us, as who we are today.

Experiences, positive but especially the negative once define who we are, by experiencing how we manage to deal with certain situations. And usually from these past experience, the next time around it is easier for us to deal with a similar situations. When we try the first time to find a new route via car we will experience difficulties and get lost. In past times when there was no SatNav it was obviously more difficult. (Thanks God to SatNav!). Next time around it will be much easier to find. But also with situations when we meet a certain person and he promises something and does not keep it, next time around when it happens again then we are not as surprised and disappointed.

The human way of functioning and reacting has always amazed me. Every time there is a surprising twist. It is just amazing on how quickly we get used to things and on how flexible we are to adjust to our surroundings. It must have been a function from past times that due to our survival instinct, we have the ability to adjust fast, which is obviously suppressed by our surroundings nowadays (e.g. city life).

I hear sometimes the sentences,” I wish that this would have not happened”,” I wish that I wouldn’t have the past, I have”. It is a bit odd to think that the past, which shapes us, should be forgotten, so that we can look ahead to the future. I think the motivational sentences, which are like “Let the past not define you” should have a Disclaimer. A Disclaimer like this could probably work: “This is meant as a figurative speech since the past cannot be deleted and the meaning of the sentence is that looking to the future is better than to the past although we come from the past. You wouldn’t be alive if there was no past” Disclaimer finished. On second thought..Probably a disclaimer is the wrong way to go ahead with this but I hope you get the drift.

How we deal with the past is very important. As an example regarding smokers: Will a kid who has been raised by a smoker family (Mum and Dad smokers) become a smoker? Now the obvious conclusion would be yes but then it is as well very likely that she will not become a smoker. Another example is regarding the childhood experience: There have been always many studies and even evidences presented why a bad childhood is affecting you in a negative way. People, who have a worse childhood, have it more difficult because they do need to fight more for their rights and for their beliefs. But I think that makes them as well stronger than others, who have been given everything very easily and without any hard work to them. Now we could go deeper into the subject of how the morale system gets upset through their childhood time but I will not start with deep analysis just yet!

To put the final note of today in Mother Teresa’s words: “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today.” (


The Mask

The Mask underneath we hide our true identity. The social sites are the best example to explain it. The “happiness” portrayed by the social site users through pictures of this amazing places, amazing dinners, amazing friends etc., which are “liked” by so many and once in awhile a sad post, which does not get any reaction. Why is that? Is there nobody out there? Of course they are out there…What makes them not respond though? Hearing their own thoughts written down or is it that they are feeding on the sad feelings of others? Well I assume not the latter.

My favourite programme is “Catfish”. ( It is the perfect example of hiding behind another identity. It is a show regarding relationships between two people, which develop via Facebook. The curios factor is that these two people have never met in real life but at least one of them has developed feelings for the other one. Throughout the show, the two investigators, which operate under Catfish find out that one or both of them have something to hide and therefore, have created a fake profile. In “harmless” cases the profile picture on facebook is a highly photo shopped one but in more extreme cases it is a complete fake picture and behind the picture of a beautiful woman is actually a man. What is quite nice of this program is that throughout the show the explanation comes out of why the person has felt the need to hide behind a different identity. Once it is revealed most of them stop to use their fake accounts and feel happier. Is that not exactly what should happen? Preferably, without the previous actions obviously. Once the mask is off and we are able to show our true selves the wasted energy of maintaining the image can be put into aims or objectives we want to achieve.

Why do we have the need to put a mask on?

Sometimes, when people wear their masks/identity for too long, they become accustomed to being identified as that person. The “real” self and the “mask” self mix into each other. As we all know, once you get accustomed to a habit it is very hard to break it unless you put a conscious effort into it. Therefore, the important questions are: Isn’t it difficult to show certain traits and suppress others? Why is one trait or characteristic acceptable by society, whereas the other one is not accepted by society? To be honest, it is rarely the case that you hide your happiness from others but is much more likely that you hide your sadness.

So, next time before you leave the house and want to put your mask on and display a person, which you think pleases others more than your true self, just hold the mask a bit longer in your hand and consider if it would be really that terrible to leave ”it” for once at home. Unfortunately or fortunately most people are mostly occupied with themselves…There will be only few people, who will recognize on that day (without the famous mask) that you are behaving differently but others will pass you with even noticing it. And for the people who really recognize the change and cannot accept you for who you are…Are they really your friends? On the positive side you will make a good impression on others. The persons you attract are compatible with the person’s characteristic you display or who you are. So, is it worth it to be surrounded by “so-called friends” and being nonetheless not satisfied with your life. The only important happiness is yours.

So, Dear Readers, have a close look to your surroundings and to the mask you are wearing. Is it really worth it? Go out and display yourself as you are and live without the mask, which you have become accustomed to. It is difficult you say? It is easier than you think! Just try it out!