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Published: July 28th 2014
Ahhhhhhhhhh Milano! A rather industrious city, but beautiful in its own way. The flight was amazing, the best experience in the air I have ever had! Not only was Air Emirates the cheapest direct flight from JFK to Milan Malpensa, but the service was outstanding. In flight movies, TV and music in multiple languages for free. All alcohol was free except for champagne. The food was restaurant quality and all pillows, blankets and headsets were complimentary. They even gave you a warm towel to clean your hands before the flight took off.
When I arrived in Milan, my first task was to find Ray. the airport was not very large and we had agreed to meet at the McDonald’s at 12:15. I mayyyyyyy have sent Ray a misleading photograph of myself from when I was snowboarding this past winter as the angle made me look much taller and in better shape than I was, but in my defense it was a recent photograph and one that was flattering. Couple that with the fact that Ray never sent me a photograph of himself; I would say lets call it even. Anyway, I arrive and after interrogating every American looking
person in the food court no Ray. No worries I am sure he is just running late, I will just grab some euros and buy my phone while I wait. However, in true Italian fashion there was no Voda Phone at the airport and securing this information from the information booth was not easy. I returned to the food court and I see a man sitting at a table with cargo shorts, a black t shirt and a fisherman hat. I quickly determine that must be Ray as I do not know any Italian who would wear that outfit in public. However, I will say that Ray wore it very well. The guy looked liked he could be a starting tight end in the NFL. After exchanging pleasantry, we decided to head towards the hotel.
Now, I have been learning Italian for about four months at this point so I was able to say a few basic sentences. My first language test was to secure us a cab. The cab company was very impressed by my accent and, while not perfect, they understood exactly where we needed to go. The man even encouraged me to continue with
my study. My teacher would be proud! Our hotel was modest, but very accommodating. We received great help from the front desk and I continued my search for a Voda Phone. This pushed my language skills to the limit as I went to four stores. Most sold only the prepay cards, and not the actual phone itself. Trying to explain what I needed in Italian was very difficult for me. I was able to caveman it out to find the actually Voda Phone store…or what I thought was the Voda Phone store. Apparently it was was a competitor with a similar looking logo but no pay by the minute plans. After trying to sell me a yearly plan and getting angry when I refused, I left defeated...until I looked next door and ecco! The Voda Phone store! The guy could have easily helped me but choose not too. What a jerk!
Finally, at the elusive Voda Phone store, armed with my battle hardened Italian language phone negotiation skills, I am ready to purchase my phone. As I begin the teller asks me, if I would prefer if they spoke English! Who says God does not have a sense of humor? Afterwards, I woke Ray from his nap and we traveled to the Duomo which was amazing.
When we were done marveling at Il Duomo we enjoyed an Italian aperitivo followed by dinner. Exhausted from our travel we turned in to rest up for our journey and main purpose for being in Italy, the canonization.
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