Milan, headed home

April 27. 6:30 am. Milan, aboard the bus headed to the airport.
Given I only had yesterday afternoon to evening to explore Milan, I leave, today, without much of a feeling of the makeup of the city. I spent yesterday on my self- guided hop on, hop off metro tour. The itinerary: the Duomo, Giardini Pubblici and Castello Sforzesco. I ended with my last solo dinner at a Mediterranean style pizza restaurant, ordering a margherita with a topping of french fries. Figured it seemed like a neat idea. A good celebration to no more dinners at a table for two with just a seat taken by one.
Two Brazilian women entered my hostel room a few moments after I returned yesterday evening. One, a woman seemingly in her early 30s, hates Paris—about the only words she could say in English. The other, a 25- year old jewelry designer, spoke little English, yet made great effort to converse with her limited vocabulary. I attempted incorporating the few words of Spanish I know into my responses. Which, granted, isn’t Portuguese but she said the two had similar vocabulary.
Let’s just go with it.

She pointed out the redness of my cheeks and bridge of my nose, claiming Brazilians love the “burnt” look. I pointed out that Americans glamorize the “browned” tan look that she naturally attains.

The Brazilians had left as I stepped out of the shower later that evening. A Canadian girl sat in their place. We spoke for a little, nice to finally converse with another who spoke English fluently. She wasn't really interested in anything I had to say, and so I let her talk about her travels and her family, stories of her studies while abroad in London and her distaste for the hostel's dryer for ruining her seemingly fine shirt. She too had traveled alone for the past few days and I understood her need to talk.

I left the hostel at 5:45 this morning. And now am seated here, aboard the 50 minute bus to Milan’s Malpensa airport.
Milan's Duomo
April 27. 8:55 am. Milan.
The flight attendant greeted me with a bonjour as I stepped onto the EasyJet flight, destination: Paris. The ease in responding with a merci after she checked my ticket felt natural. She handed the ticket back as I shifted the weight of my carry on before proceeding forward.

It feels strange to board the flight. Strange that this airplane, the grounds of the Milan airport: by initial glance, this could be anywhere. I settled into my seat by the window, my gaze fixated on the mountains in the distance, the peaks topped by a sheen of white. It’s my reminder that I am not just anywhere.

Not just anywhere. I’m leaving Italy, headed back to Paris.

I welcome this return, this return to what strangely feels like home. I look forward to getting back to structure and routine, a language I know in an environment I love. Two weeks away was good. But to head back…Yes, it feels good.

As it always does.
Gardens behind Castello Sforzesco
Giardini Pubblici

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