Holy shit-is it really the end of July?! A mental tap on my shoulder has reminded me that it is that time again, where I languidly begin to pack up all my belongings that have been strewn around my parents’ home and begin to reorganize my luggage and emotions for the journey home to Luigi-land. As I start to plan my social schedule with friends I’ve missed in Milan, I begin the icky emotional inverse-process of saying good-bye to my compadres and family here while I simultaneously try to ignore the lump that forms at the back of my throat every time I give a good-bye hug to someone.
It’s not that I’m into hugging inanimate objects, but if I could, I would hug the wide, even, smooth side-walks which make it so easy to guide a stroller on Calgary streets. No potholes or cobble-stones here which involuntarily force me to simulate training for a Strongman competition because in Milan, sometimes I truly feel I have to squint my eyes, tense the veins in my neck, grind my teeth, growl, and tap deep into my hidden strength reserves to move a jammed stroller-wheel out of the cobbled cracks. It’s like labor all over again but this time, my kids are already out and weigh about 70 pounds together, AND I have a public audience. Not a pretty picture.
I do not bitch as often about such things under my breath because here in Calgary, a smaller version of the open high-way has essentially been lain under my suburb-strolling feet. I don’t risk pulling a hamstring or some other dormant muscle in my body every time I go out for a walk and that is a nice perk over Milan. I’d also beat my bunion into brittle bits if that would mean every street corner in Milan would have a ramp for strollers and/or wheel chairs. Like the Canadian sasquatch, everyone knows these ramps do exist in Milan, but they are hardly ever seen. (Indeed, this is a slight exaggeration because they are seen, however I really really wish Milan did have more of them. The debate over the sasquatch is as yet unsolved).
But…..because I am a women and blessed with a uterus, this means I naturally secrete hormones that make me confusing and hence as hard as it is for me to leave here and bid farewell to family, friends, and all things related to side-walks, I am indeed very excited to go back to Milan. I have a massive crush on Luigi-land and hence my emotional plot thickens.
For one, my heart pitter-patters simply because it is MILAN. M-I-L-A-N. In Italy, in Europe. Bless you, plate tectonics, for placing Milan where it is today. The food, the warm people, our apartment, my language attempts, the coffee, the wine, the culture, the history and the atmosphere all arouse my interests and are additional reasons as to why I am truly happy there. It’s a glorious village of 1.3 million people which to me, is buzzing with life and heaps of fun. Three days after I return, we have a friend arriving to stay with us for several days so that is great motivation to pave over any lingering emotional potholes I may have and get back on track. All I need is two or three days to readjust my mind and I’m good as new, (and for that I have borrowed this entry’s title from RadioHead, who’s album In Rainbows has been stuck on repeat this visit. Simply wicked-Thom Yorke’s voice makes my head spin in heavenly directions). Anyways, I’ve gotten used to this little process now-feeling a little down for having to go, but at the same time elated to explore Milan again. This expat tune is stuck on repeat.
And explore Milan I have. I have mentioned before the tours I have written for Milan and for a little while now they have been available for download on your smarty-pants phones. You need an iphone/ipad/itouch for the apple store (click here to access the tours), and android users can click here to do the same. Type in ‘Milan’, and presto, for a small fee you can download three tours written by moi, (with most photos taken by me), for your exploring pleasure. I learned heaps about Milan and had a blast exploring the city so I can honestly say these tours were complied with love and laughs. Dave and my friend Summer joined me a few times on my numerous excursions to research the town-always fun, always an adventure. Should you download them, I hope you enjoy them too. And, don’t forget to tell your friends, or your grandma. (If your grandma has a smart-phone, she rocks!)
Ok, that’s enough self-promotion for today. I’m off to make breakfast-my days of sleeping in are slowly fading….