The “graduation” reception at the Domus Academy for our two weeks of school felt like a high school dance but with an open bar. The crowd chilled and socialized until word got out to the local gang of mosquitoes that there was plenty of flesh and blood to be had on the terrace in the Nuova Accademia delle Belle Arte Milano. When that gang arrived, the crowd migrated to a bar in the trendy Navigli neighborhood.
I called for a taxi at 4:30, but when I checked to be sure I had my passport, I realized I couldn't find it. The cabbie was downstairs waiting, and I was tearing my room apart frantically looking for it, flipping over mattresses, double-checking my backpack. By 4:45, I had to go down and pay €24 to him for his time and he took off. I knew my passport had to be in my bags because it definitely wasn't in my room. But I just couldn't leave the hostel without it. Thirty seconds after the taxi left, I found the passport among my folders in my big bag. So I got in the next taxi and he took me to the station where I had just missed the 5:03 shuttle train that went direct to the airport for €13. The next one wasn't for an hour and that would be cutting it pretty short. I wasn't about to miss my first of three legs back to the US. Getting back to my family: priceless. So I sprung for another taxi ride. I practiced my Italian with the cabbie in the semi-sober ride to the airport. In Italy, you always get the wide-eyed look after a few phrases of Italian. “Why do you speak Italian?” and “Why would you want to speak Italian?”
My two weeks in Milan flew by and I enjoyed them thoroughly. It showed me I definitely do want to come back and do my masters in northern Italy, but probably not at the Domus Accademy. Even in industrialized Milan, you can still see the “casino” of the Italian culture. In a busy intersection right in front of a train station there will be pedestrians, mopeds, motorcycles, buses, trams, cars, and trucks all negotiating the scene without a traffic light in sight. More than once, I was riding in a tram and flew through a bright red light. But to me, that's what makes Italy fun and always exciting.
About This Entry
You are reading "Graduation and Nearly Not Flying Home", an entry posted on 26 December 2008 by Andy Steves.