Poor Girl in a Material World

If I had to choose a song to describe my weekend in Milan it would be “Labels or Love” by Fergie.  From my impression, it serves as the soundtrack of the city.  When I stepped off the plane in Milan I found myself immediately in a store.  Not an airport gate, a store.  I had entered the shopping capitol of the world.  My first thoughts: I think I’m gonna need some more euros-Pronto!

 Shopping amongst big labels is not just luxurious; it’s a lifestyle in Milan.  A lifestyle that requires lots of friends.  Friends like Gucci, Fendi, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Christian Louboutin, Dior, Armani, Dolce and Gabbana, Ferragamo, Valentino, Versace, Burberry and more.  Prada has it’s own café? And you can’t forget Furla, Katie’s favorite designer label and therein mine too.  Furla makes the most beautiful, highest quality Italian leather bags.  Katie has about 20, I have two baby ones.

 In fact, a lot of things in Milan reminded me of my sister.  Not surprising seeing as she used to live in Italy.  And lucky me was fortunate enough to visit her when she was in Rome and then again when she lived in Florence.  I saw her favorite gelato place, Grom, and immediately dragged my roommates to it.  Crowd pleaser.  And Melissa immediately gained an Italian admirer.  The guy at Grom-GromGuy.  After she ordered GromGuy replied, “I’m sorry I got lost in your eyes.”  I loved it.  Whatever happened to all the cheesy pickup lines in the world?  They seem to only exist in Europe-specifically Greece and Italia.  I demand an international revival! 

“What’s your sign?” (personal favorite)

 Milan also reminded me of Katie because of the food.  The food!  I may be a poor girl with holes in her shoes but I ate like a king.  Pizza Pizza Pizza.  Delicioso!  My favorites were lasagna! And this spicy sausage ricotta pizza that I had.  I always ordered the cheapest wine but it never tasted cheap.  Not to mention the Prosecco.  If it wasn’t for EasyJet’s bogus strict checking policy I would have brought some home.

 Although I was eating like a king, I wasn’t exactly strutting like one.  My ballet flats hit their final tread in Milan.  And I mean final.  I’m talking holes in the bottom, no longer black in color, absolutely shapeless poor excuses for a pair of shoes.  Not exactly ideal in a city where every avenue is a runway of stores and modelesque pedestrians dressed to the nines.  Needless to say, my shopping involved shoe shopping.  Unfortunately, the prices gave me anxiety and I choked.  My roommates proceeded to rightly make fun of my shoes from there on out.  Thrifty Melissa suggested that I wear plastic bags on my feet as an upgrade from my flats.  And she was right. I tested it out in the hotel room (see photo for laughs).  There I was in Milan, a city offering up shoes on silver platters all around me, and I just kept walking.  Attainable glass slippers jumping at me from all angels-apparently Cinderella didn’t translate for me. 

 Maybe it’s the new Greek in me.  Sure I was in Italy, but I was still speaking Greek.  It was so embarrassing.  Every Italian I spoke with had to put up with my confusing Greek-English mumbo jumbo.  As if the Greeks haven’t had it hard enough listening to me, the Italians too?! 

 Everything I observed in Milan, I found myself comparing to Greece-not to America.  There was construction on one road at night-something you would never see in Greece I thought, no one works past 1:30pm.  Cars were parked in neat lines along the sidewalks.  Not like in Greece where double, sometimes triple parking is typical.  Waiters were attentive, running to give us our food and check.  Well, that is just unheard of in Greece-sitting at a restaurant for less than three hours feels rushed.  Also, there were more blondes in Milan-something I loved because I fit in more.  Unlike Athens, where no matter how much I cover up my hair I still get gawks left and right.  And there were clocks everywhere in Milan.  Not like in Greece where time is of nearly no concern.  I even forgot to change the time on my cell phone and accidently lived on Athens time in Milan.  Not a big deal, until we used it as an alarm and accidently woke up an hour too early for our flight home…oops, sorry Melissa and Emma.  You can take the Jayna out of Greece but you can’t take the Greece out of Jayna. 

 All in all Milan was fantastic, between seeing the Last Supper and eating like it was my last supper I had a marvelous time.  Even in my atrocious ridiculous flats, Milan did not cease to impress me at every corner.  I remembered how much I loved Italy and realized how much Greece has rubbed off on me.  Then again, Italy has had it’s affect too.  I ordered a gyro today and said “Grazie” instead of “efharisto.”  I finally remembered to switch to Italian…once I was back home in Greece.  Etsi eivai n zwn! (That is life!)




One Response to “Poor Girl in a Material World”

  1. maria verivaki Says:

    dear tzeina,
    i love your honesty in your descriptions of living in greece
    and i envy the fun that you are having
    happy new year!

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