Milan: I do love you, but really?!
Despite the dramatic start, Day 1 abroad was perfect. The day(s) and events -- including a significantly delayed flight departing NYC -- preceding our arrival in Milan were a perfect prequel to what was to come.
The flight to Milan from NYC was amaaze! My first flight on Emirates left me impressed. Yes, the hype is super real. From the customer service to the food and woodgrain decor in the bathrooms, can you say luxe?! And what really impressed me was when the attendants turned the lights down and stars illuminated on the plane's ceiling. Yeeesss #Emirates!
My travel partner and I arrived in Milan shortly after 5am (Milan time, so 11pm EST). We took the shuttle from Malpensa airport to the Milan Central Train Station (€8) and then an Uber to our "tiny comfortable entire apartment near the center" Airbnb, which we had rented for a month and a half from a woman named Joan. I was super excited because Joan was also an expat and seemed willing to offer insight about living abroad and adjusting to life in a new country.
But let's talk about what actually happened.
Once at our rental apartment in Milan, although we had to carry our six pieces of overweight luggage up four flights of stairs (shoutout to the host for helping us carry the luggage up), the apartment was lovely and felt comfortable. However, I did notice that the elderly lady next door seemed to be fussing at our host when she saw us enter the apartment. Joan told us to ignore her. After Joan left and we began getting settled in, I noticed from the bathroom window a man pointing to the apartment and talking on the phone, as if he was reporting something to someone about something going on in the ("our") apartment. I mentioned this to my travel partner, and she noted that the apartment had a cute aesthetic but looked like it was decorated by a man. Hmmm...
And then, just as we were getting fully settled in (i.e., wig off!), there came a knock at the door.
Surprise! It was the actual owner of the apartment saying we had to "get out" and I mean get out as in ASAPedly, right now, today, Italian police coming to get you if you don't vacate the premises GET OUT. Apparently, Joan was not authorized to rent the apartment to us and Airbnb was not permitted at the property. Well okay!
Luggage repacked and at the door “in GET OUT mode” and hoping to buy some time while we searched for a new Milan abode, I began some investigatory work. I asked the "so-called owner" to produce a title or proof of ownership, which HE DID. Oh no, no, no -- say it ain't so! And then I began to look more closely around the apartment and noticed a blurred image of him on the mouse pad and other items around the house that made clear he was who he claimed to be. Yikes! He even threatened to change the locks. Needless to say, it's was time to go! Cue us running full speed towards the door because international jail didn't sound like fun.
So now we were semi-homeless but not homeless-homeless, thanks to one of my fabulous friends, Dani, who was also in Milan and planned to attend the Bruno Mars concert with us later that evening. It turns out her 5-star hotel room (#fancy) had just enough space for two additional people with way too much luggage. We ended up staying with Dani in the most fabulous area of Milan with a beautiful view of the Duomo. Dani most definitely, positively deserves the MVP award for coming through for me and my travel partner in a huge way!
Oh yes and about Bruno Mars! Talk about a feel-good time! The man is a genius entertainer. He and his awesome band rocked the concert, like slip and slide, two step, Bankhead Bounce, butterfly, tootsie roll, boogie woogie woogie...all the moves! He is one of the best living entertainers. Period. And the glittery gold confetti burst at the conclusion of the concert was everything!
From here on out Bruno (b/c we're definitely on a first-name basis now) will hold a special place in my heart. He, along with Dani, turned a crazy day into a "24K magical" night. What a wild, eventful day and way to start my adventure abroad.
I concluded the evening with dinner (fourth-meal style) under those beloved golden arches because Milan needs more late-night eateries if I am to survive here and maintain my summertime fine!
But in real life, Milan, I do love you but I think we need some time apart. And despite all the mayhem, Day 1 abroad was a perfect day. Next stop: Germany!
See Yaa Soon Freiburg, Germany!
"God, thank you for continuing to reaffirm your presence in my life. Thank you for covering me and showing me I am covered." ♡ Yaa Aba