Friday, January 23, 2009

Signora?

Ok, so are there any Italians out there (especially the ones I know) who could possibly tell me why a 22 year old girl, who barely passes for 20, could be called signora? When I first came to Milan like 2 and a half months ago, nobody called me signora, it was always signorina. Then gradually over the past weeks, it became a mix of the both, to almost always being signora now! In shops, on the metro, everywhere! It amuses me really, cos by Italian standards I'm still a baby, yet everyone seems to be calling me signora!

And on an unrelated note, the weather's miserable, proper British style! This isn't what Mediterranean weather should be like, surely??

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Illness!

Looks like there's another lurgy doing the round in Milan! I can't believe how ill I've been since getting here! Not even three months in this city, and 2 colds and whateverthehellthisis! I'm usually pretty healthy, I get a cold or two between the end of summer & beginning of spring, but nothing ever really serious (touch wood!). But this weekend I've spent the whole time mooching around at home, and most of today in bed! And another bad thing about being ill here is the price of medicines! 5 euro for a bottle of cough medicine, the same for a packet of neurofen, I don't know how Italians put up with it! I stocked up on as much stuff as I could when I was home for Christmas (working where I did in 6th form and uni, I was used to being around cheap medicines; I'd always buy the cheap 30/40p packets of paracetamol) cos I'm quite prone to headaches, and, well really, I can't afford to be paying like 3-5 euro just for a packet of paracetamol or asprin each time!

Anyway, that's my rant for today, I'm going to go and eat my pasta bianca, fun fun....

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Spoke too soon.....

It's raining in Milan today, and the snow's all slowly disappearing... Finally my street's clear, and for the first time in over a week I don't have to worry about falling on my arse on my way to or from work!! Bloody miserable weather mind, can we have some sun please??

Last night I went to the supermarket nearby (never go for a shopping run either hungry or with a 50 euro note, asking for trouble!!), and bought some hot chocolate powder amongst a lot of other rubbish! And Italian hot chocolate is looooooooooooooovely! Well, the one I bought is at any rate, I know some you buy in bars can be pretty sickly, but the one I made last night was nice!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sticking Around......

.... The snow, that is ;)

It's quite funny really, I know us Brits are fascinated with snow, and it's such a novelty walking around Milan with plenty of snow still around like a week after it stopped snowing! I'm starting to think that it's not going to all melt any time before spring! Apparently we were supposed to get another dosage of snow this week too, but as yet, we've not seen a snowflake...

My room's getting re-decorated this week, so I'm having to sleep in the living room. And between a thin matress and noisy neighbours, I'm not getting as much sleep as I'd like! I know Italians are loud & talk a helluva lot, but blimey, these walls must be thinner than I thought!!

I did wander into town on Saturday, luckily it wasn't as manic as it had been the week before (maybe the cold weather had kept some people at home!), and I bought a few little things. Doesn't seem to be much of anything around in my size though, as the case usually is at home as well!

One last thing, here's a song that's doing the rounds over here, i vecchietti fanno o by J-Ax, it reminds me of a few people I know, I hope they won't be offended by this cos they certainly aren't old, but have managed to stay young at heart :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Even more snow!


I'm loving this winter! I woke up this morning to a very snowy Milan! Even when I left the house around 8.30 there must've been a good 20 cm of snow on the ground, if not more. And it's been snowing all day too, I love it! And there's more snow forecast for tomorrow and Thursday!

Buona Befana to any Italians out there, today's the Epiphany, a public holiday in Italy. It's the day when good Italian kids receive presents from the witch Befana, and bad kids get a lump of coal! I guess it still amuses me that on a Christian holiday, kids get presents from a witch! Well, as long as it keeps them happy I guess...!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sales!

So yesterday the sales kicked off in Milan... And as you can imagine, it was pretty mental in the city centre! I only bought a couple of things, sales are usually a bit of a pain for me as nearly everything seems to be too small or too big! It was nice having a wander around though, even though there were so many people in giro!

After a colleague told me about it, I found a shop not too far from the Duomo (near the Missori metro stop) that sells British things! It's called Taste of England (misleading title imo, as I was familiar with all the stuff too ;)) and it sells a mix of British things, from Whittard teas & coffees and Cadbury's chocolate, to toothbrushes and soap! It's a bit pricey though, as you'd imagine for foreign things I guess, but it's nice for a treat :) There's another shop, in the same sort of patch, on Corso Italia, that sells British stuff too, must go and check that out too!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

So.... 2009!

Nice, isn't it?

I had a nice New Year's Eve in, we had a few people over, and had a feast! It was really nice. Just before midnight we ate our lentils, that's a big new year's superstition in Italy, eating lentils new year's eve and/or new year's day, they're supposed to bring you money, and I ate my fair share of them! With around 40 minutes to go, we turned the tv on, and watched the new year's eve show on Canale Cinque. It might sound sad, but I enjoyed that! New year's eve tv at home is appalling (though I have enjoyed the Hootenanny the last few years, and was a bit annoyed I missed it this time round with the line-up they had!), and what I saw was what, I think, British new year's eve tv misses a bit - genuine fun, anarchy, lots of singing and messing around. The 'dancers' I wasn't such a fan of, I was actually amazed that they could get away with that kind of thing on tv! And I found it highly amusing, that in the chaos, the dancing and singing after midnight, a plate of lentils and cotechino (a type of pork sausage we had with the lentils too, that I'm not too keen on as I discovered...) was being passed around the studio! It just goes to show how strong the belief in the superstition and tradition is, but I found it quite amusing!

It was snowing in Milan new year's eve too, not much settled, but it was very nice to wake up on new year's day to snow outside :)

.... And then after a relaxing new year's day at home, it was back to work yesterday!

The sales start in Milan today, so I'll be off for a giro in the centre to see what I can find! Unlike the UK, there are actually laws in Italy, which dictate when the sales can start in each city. Of course, being in Italy, those laws don't stop sales-which-are-not-called-sales from starting before when they're supposed to! But I like how they're not supposed to start before a certain date, it makes the sales a bit more exciting!