Moving to Milan

I finally settled(?) in Milan.

(?) (I still haven’t received my permit of stay, and a lot of more things are in process, but in Italy it takes time.)

On September 1st, after one week’s struggling, the local goverment of Chengdu eventually decided a lockdown. The announcement went out at around 12pm requiring that all the communities in the city should forbid people from going in/out, starting at 6pm. Except that each family can have a representative who tested negative, to buy groceries once a day. Despite the suddeness of the announcement, luckily, my flight to Tianjin took off at 4pm. (Of course, with my negative covid-test result valid within 24 hours)

I did not have time to think about missing my family. With a bit more luck, after one night of anxiety I made it on my flight from Tianjin to Milan, and landed in Malpensa Airport in the local evening - this is the first time I set my foot in the Europe.

The people I’ve met so far are nice. On my day of arrival my landlord, who was an elegant lady, had been patiently waiting for my moving in at around midnight. The rooms are furnished with delicated details. Those fashion books on the shelves seem to suggest how a noticeable fraction of people in Milan are enthusiastic about dressing in good styles.

The faculty and my fellow students are friendly, and quite into going to `aperitivo’ – I’ve drunk too much than I would have in China in the past two weeks, but so far I haven’t turned down those warm invitations.

(Magazines with thousands of recommended shop addresses in it)

The coffee here is so affordable, on a vendor machine it is 0.40 euro to have an Espresso. In a store probably a little more but still less than 2 euros (Starbucks? here I rarely heard about it). Last week I had my first Italian pizza, and it easily outranked all the pizzas I had before.

What about gelatos? Yesterday my fellow students kindly invited me to have a gelato, my reaction was: sorry, I’m not prepared. I’ll have one when I am in that mood. So let’s save it for a moment. [update: my fellow student told me later: in Italy, you should always be in that mood!]

I start to pick some new habits. The thieves here seem to be active and people will remind you to put your backpack in front when you are taking public tranportation. I am also thinking about having a new wallet to store the coins.

The mosquitoes are still bothering me as they are in China (I hate mosquitoes as much as they love me), but, fine, since I finally can have some people to talk with in person, about TCS.

Negative experience? Yes. But let’s save it for next time.


A chair made of paperboard in my room Navigli at dusk