Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Milan: City of Trickery

This past weekend, G. (’19), J. (’20), and I travelled to Milan, which is possibly the city with the most unexpected surprises so far. Here is a guide so that if you choose to visit Milan (it was fun!), you will be equipped with knowledge:
I actually like anchovy pizza.
1. The Entrance Test
After you arrive at the airport, there will be a friendly local who will offer to help you buy metro tickets. Ignore them. It’s extremely easy to buy tickets with the machines. These people will take your change or demand money for their service. Luckily, I recognized what the woman was doing and firmly told her we didn’t need her help, so we weren’t duped.

2. The Infinite Metro Loop
We were on the metro. The next stop would have been the stop we were going to get off at. BUT to my shock and great confusion, the metro started reversing direction. What? What is happening??? We arrived at the stop at the airport, and suddenly the metro started running in its original direction. This is the “Oscillating Metro Trap” where if you aren’t paying attention, you wouldn’t notice that you’re travelling back and forth between these three stops forever. To escape, get off at a stop, then walk to the other side of the metro station.

3. The Unattainable Treasure
On top of a terrace (Duomo).
Although The Last Supper is in a museum, you actually need to make a reservation a month in advance for tickets. Or, you could relent and buy a pricey tour, since lots of tour guides buy out all the tickets for this famous painting. Unfortunately, we did not know this, so we did not see it.

4. The Sea of Peddlers
In almost all the tourist places, there are many people who will try to sell you something. In short, if someone tries to talk to you, shut them down. I was impressed by G. (’19)’s ability to utterly and repeatedly reject such friendly-seeming people, although he was approached at least eight times. Meanwhile, unsure if these vendors are sexist, but J. (’20) and I were not asked once.

Milan is quite beautiful, and the city has great gelato. (The pizza is yummy, but not extraordinary). In all, I think my favorite part during the trip was when we were walking back from the Duomo under a golden cloudy sky at sunset, with rain droplets gently splashing down, and with a grape and chocolate gelato cone in hand, a rainbow behind me and the music of a talented street guitarist fading, I realized just how lucky I was to have MISTI.