Monday, August 31, 2009

Nerys's Milanese Pet Hates - Part 3

Bwahaha it's been a while!!

People who stare at me on the metro.

Yes, I know I'm blonde. I've got blue eyes too. Oooh, look at all of the colourful things I'm wearing!!

Ma basta!

I've been here for nearly 10 months now, when are you going to get bored of staring at me??

Back to Normality!

For many many Italians this weekend meant the end of the summer, and the return home to the city -  it was the last big rientro weekend, after people had been trickling back from their holidays over the last few days, this weekend was when pretty much everyone else was making the journey home from their holidays. So now everyone's back in the city and back to work after 3/4 weeks' holiday - nice for some! And life in Milan is almost back to normal. Ok, so the school's aren't back yet, and there are still a lot of tourists around, but there's a big difference to the ghost town of 2 or so weeks ago! There are still some shops closed though, even in the centre of Milan, but only a few by now. Oh, the public transport's still on holiday service too, but that I can live with during the day!

And the weather's improved massively! It's around 27-28 degrees at the moment, and nowhere near as humid as it's been recently! I was even sleeping with a sheet last night and Saturday night - amazing!! It's lovely, I wish it could've been like this all summer! It's even cool enough to wear jeans (with sandals albeit) around town, I'm very pleased, to be honest I'd got a little tired of wearing summery skirts all the time! Apparently it's not going to last, the temperature's set to rise again this week according to the meteo I saw last night, but I'm enjoying it whilst it lasts!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

How to Survive in Milan in the Summer - Random Tips: No.3

Before you go anywhere, cover yourself in insect repellent!!

Even if you're just going shopping, the buggers are everywhere! They get you at home, in the office, when you're in giro in town, and especially at night! They get you through your jeans too, they're very crafty!! I've got a plug-in at home that works a treat (ok, I may not have noticed a couple of times that it had ran out...) and some Autan spray, which most of the time works great; but it seems that I need to be a little bit more liberal with it when I go down the park to sunbathe!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

How to Survive in Milan in the Summer - Random Tips: No.2

Buy a handheld fan.

Seriously, I don't know what I'd do without mine! It lives on my desk in the office most of the time, the air conditioning's not so great in here! But it's invaluable on public transport, especially on the metro, it gets so hot in the summer! They're so easy to get hold of too, from people selling them on the street or on the underground, and I've seen loads selling them for 2 euro for a pair! Barganious!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

My songs of the summer!

It's not quite so hot in Milan today, and even though I got bitten three times last night by the mozzy that was apparently in my room last night (err, plug-in, what happened??), I'm in a non-ranting mood today! Maybe it's more wishful thinking, but the summer really is coming to an end, and I thought I'd share what have been my favourite songs in Italy this summer!

1. Mika - We Are Golden

Predictable fangurl is predictable :D I absolutely love it, and I'm glad the Italian radio does too!

2. Negrita - Gioia infinita

Negrita are one of my favourite Italian bands (not that I have that many lol!!) and this is such a lovely summery song!

3. Zero Assoluto - Per dimenticare

This one's been around all summer, but I just can't get tired of it!

4. Calvin Harris - I'm Not Alone

Amazing. Shame only a couple of radio stations I can pick up play it...

5. Airys - Vedo in te

Not enough stuff like this in Italy at the moment! And bonus points for the last bit of her name matching mine :D

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Flying to Italy

Maybe it's the heat, or the lack of sleep, or more than likely a combination of the two, but this week I've been in quite a ranting mood...

Every so often I sneak in a little rant about how difficult it is for me to fly to and from home to Milan. The problem isn’t in Italy, I could fly to/from any of the three airports which are in & around Milan: Malpensa, Linate and Bergamo. The problem is the UK. My nearest airport at home, Cardiff, doesn’t do any non-charter flights to anywhere in Italy! To be honest, it still baffles me. So then, the next closest airport is Bristol.

The option I usually take to get there is the train, and then the airport bus from Bristol Temple Meads, which takes around 3 1/2 hours (compared to the car journey of around 2 1/2). And to catch the flight back to Bergamo that I usually get, it means getting the train around 6am. Then changing trains twice along the way. And then getting the aiport bus. And after the panic when I missed my first connection when I was coming back to Italy after Christmas - thanks to a fault on the line - I never want to take the train to the airport ever again. I don't care that it was the first train after Christmas, it's just too risky now. There is the coach, but it takes a long time, (anything between 4 hours 50 minutes to 6 hours 50 minutes!) and never gets me to the airport in time for a flight. And not only is it a pain for me, it's a pain for everyone else who comes out here to see me. My mam even said when I was home a couple of weeks ago that the next time she comes out here she'll get the coach up to Heathrow cos it's easier. That takes between 5- 5 1/2 hours on the coach, which makes the length of the journey to Bristol seem even more ridiculous. I just think it's a bit of a joke really that someone would have to travel that far in their own country to get a flight to a big European city. And I think I probably will have to do the same the next time I go home too, unless I'm lucky like I was last time when I actually got a lift home and back up to the airport cos there was no traffic. I'm so jealous of people who can get to and from airports at home without any problem, it's just unnecessary stress!

I think I need a big glass of vino and a lie down in a very air-conditioned room!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Why I'm looking forward to Autumn

  1. Being able to sleep with a duvet (cosy!!)
  2. Scratch that - being able to sleep at night will be bliss!!
  3. Wearing my Converse (adore my Converse!)
  4. Wearing my swanky new skinny jeans I bought at home (oh, how I love them!)
  5. My favourite soap (Tempesta d'Amore, if anyone's interested!) going back to being a full episode every evening instead of annoying half episodes!
  6. My low blood pressure not giving me (as much) grief
  7. My doctor and the pharmacy down the street being open again
  8. Not being eaten alive by the mozzies constantly - eventually! I got bitten a lot during a picnic in Bologna last October, so I know they'll be hanging around for a while yet!
Can you tell it's been a hot, horrible, humid day in Milan today??

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday Breakfast

That's a piece of left-over lemon cake from yesterday, a bottle of strawberry Actimel, and a cup of tea. A slightly random breakfast, even by my standards, but it was very nice! Perfect for a Sunday morning!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Buon Ferragosto!

Buon Ferragosto a tutti! It's my first Ferragosto in Italy! Even though I'm not Catholic, it's nice to be here on Ferragosto, it feels like another landmark, another step towards getting to know Italy better. According to a local radio station, apparently only around 500,000 milanesi are still around in the city today, about a third of the population. So where are they all??

Friday, August 14, 2009

How to Survive in Milan in the Summer - Random Tips: No.1

Get out of the city if you can.

Seriously. Now I understand why everyone abandons Italian cities every year! The latest I'd been in Italy before was August 11th, and it was in Pisa as well. And after having been there for only 4 weeks, I hadn't really noticed that there were less people around - the place had just constantly been full of tourists since I'd got there! But the difference in Milan is massive! In the week I was at home like half the population of Milan had disappeared! And I don't blame them at all, I'd still be out of the city if I could! It's too hot to work, and I've been suffering this week cos of my low blood pressure. It'd be lovely to go to the coast for a couple of weeks!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Back in (ghost town!) Milan!

So, I'm back from a lovely, though rather hectic week at home! I got back on Sunday after an epic almost-10 hours' travelling (damn you Cardiff airport!!), to a dead Milan! I'm still trying to recover from always being in giro at home, seeing family and friends, going out on the town, shopping, and going to the coast! It's amazing how much you can fit into a week when you have to!

It was so strange being home after being in Italy for over 7 months solid, people had changed, my hometown had changed a surprising amount, and it was so cold!! I stepped off the plane at Bristol around 10.30 on August 1st shaking and shivering! Ok, so it was night, but still, it was so cold! Even in the daytime up until Weds was cold, on Wednesday I was the only one walking around the shops in a jacket and scarf! I was amazed at how little some people were wearing, it wasn't even 20 degrees at that point!

And speaking of shopping, I had a lot of fun in the British shops! I officially fit a British size 10 and I'm absolutely chuffed to bits!! I even bought 2 pairs of skinny jeans that I absolutely adore! I never would've imagined even a few months ago being able to buy skinny jeans! But annoyingly because of Ryanair's 15kg hold luggage limit (mine was 15.5 kg! Ha!) I had to leave some things at home, and get my mam to send them out in autumn. But there we go...

On the way home I flew from Malpensa airport, I'd flown into Malpensa twice before, the first time being when I first arrived in Italy last year; but I'd never flown from Malpensa. And I don't think I will again. Getting to the airport's fine, I took the Malpensa Express from Cadorna station. That was fine, I got there on time, and the journey was easy. The disaster was once we got to the airport. Having arrived on the train, I needed to get the shuttle bus over to terminal 2 for my flight. Which meant waiting for ages. Bang went my plan of managing to get to check in on time! And check in was another disaster too. I was flying home with Easyjet, and I never expected them to be so disorganised in an airport like Malpensa! 3 check-in desks open, from the like 15 that they had, for at the 3 flights that I knew of, and because of the shuttle bus I ended up near the back of the queue! Frustrating isn't the word. And then the flight was late!! It may be out of the city, but I think I'll stick to Bergamo from now on!

And when I got back on Sunday the city was deserted! Walking to work yesterday was one of the strangest things, the streets were quiet, hardly any cars, more shops than usual were shut, and the sky was a very ominous looking dark colour!! It was like everyone in Milan knew something bad was up, except for me, who, after coming back from a week at home, didn't know anything about it!! I'm getting used to it now though, for one thing it means less chance of getting run over as I go to work every day! I wish I was off on holiday too though, even though I've just been home for a week - I want a proper holiday like everyone else! :(