In the many times Ive been to Italia, I’ve never ever been to the actual city of Milan. Believe it or not, hanggang airport lang ako palagi! As soon as I hit Malpensa airport, I get straight on a train and head to another city.. it’s basically just a port of entry. So finally, my sister and Mich decided to treat me to a girls night out! We had aperitivo at Yguana, a popular Milanese hang out for college students (thank God I could still pass as a “college kid” in Italy! Hooray for my petite frame and Asian features that make me look much younger than my caucasian counterparts! Patty P.D.W. “por da wins” hahaha!) We took her teeny-weeny barely-living smart car and drove al-fresco (the aircon was busted!nyehh!) from Como to Milano. Milan is indeed the fashion capital of Italy and everyone was all decked out in head to toe Gucci and Prada. It’s a good thing my high fashion sister gave me a decent prep even prior to my arrival..but even if I was really dressed (in Manila standards), I still felt completely inferior fashion-wise walking next to these glamazons! The entire Milan is a catwalk! It’s actually a very rough and tough city and if you’re a newbie, Milano might swallow you alive. I guess Rome is still my favorite Italian city and maybe Venice is a close second..but Milan has its own character too and is still worth a visit.
The following day, we took a train and crossed over to Lugano, Switzerland..surprisingly, it only took us 30 minutes! My regular commute from Alabang to Makati takes even longer! Como is in the northernmost part of Italy so it’s right at the Swiss-Italian border. (Oh, how I wish they could improve our public transport system in the Philippines…it would make local travel much more affordable and convenient!) It’s amazing how a 30 minute trip can change everything completely, I got a small bottle of mineral water for 350 pesos!!! @#$%^&! And mind you, it wasn’t even Evian or Perrier! It was just your average bottled water, it was simply because we were in Switzerland and their cost of living is just much higher than the rest of Europe! Syempre tinipid ko talaga, it took me the whole day to finish that bottle of water..piso bawat drop din yun! I had to convince myself that the water was extra special but truth be told, it was water that tasted like water! Grrr. The Swiss are one of the most pleasant people you’ll ever meet (I blame their historical/ political neutrality! Haha!)..next to the Greeks and Spaniards, I think I like them a lot too..just because they’re NICE people. And nice is always a WIN for me! Pero when it comes to being FUNNY..as in really kabag-fest FUNNY?? Mga PINOY ang panalo diyan! Iba pa rin tayo!:)
I love markets! Flea markets, flower markets, food markets, and of course, supermarkets! Every time I travel, it’s one of the first things I research on..local neighborhood markets. My most highly recommended markets would have to be: 1) El Rastro in Madrid 2) Albert Cuyp Market in Amsterdam 3) Nishiki Market in Kyoto and of course 4) Market, Market in Taguig (wahahaha!! hey, saan ka pa makakahanap ng “market” na may lasertag?! Beat that!) Last Saturday, we visited the weekend market just outside the walled city of Como. It’s a relatively small market, but still very colorful and fun
I’m now back in Manila, after 26 hours in transit..hopping from cabs, trains, and several planes..not to mention endless layovers in between! It was a quick but meaningful sojourn to Europe, a big blessing indeed Just enough to scratch my travel bug itch for the year..and now, it’s back to reality again!