Ciao! As the title suggests, I have been in Milan over the last few weeks. I realize that I have not really been caught up with my blogging so today I hope to take care of that. Unfortunately I have had a cold for like the past 2 weeks (I am finally getting better) so that is part of the reason why I have been staying in town.
Here is recap of the past couple of weeks...
Two Wednesdays ago I went to Old Fashion with some friends and had a good time. This was my second time at OF with the outside area open and it was very nice. Unfortunately they started playing old hits from like the 60's and 70's toward the end of the night which I didn't really enjoy but everyone else there was loving it so that's good I guess. The next night I went to Le Banque (a club which is located near the Duomo in the building of an old bank) after my roommates birthday party at Arcobaleno (the dorms of Bocconi) but I left early because that was when I received the news about my grandfather's passing. The next few days I spent at home studying and talking to my family. I also ran out of groceries that week so I ended up eating out a lot at aperitivos for meals. The rest of the weekend was pretty uneventful for me besides my trip to the Duomo for mass which I wrote a blog entry about.
The next week I was really looking forward to Wednesday, because that is when Inter was playing Barcelona for the 2nd leg of the Champions League Semifinal. I met up with Johan, Oyvind, and Gustaf and we all watched the game at a restaurant in Navigli (the area of Milan near the canals with all the aperitivos). Inter received a red card very early in the game so they had to play mostly defense the whole game and it was super intense the whole time. Everyone in the restaurant was on the edge of their seats the whole time and I have never been so nervous for a game I was not actually playing in. In the end, Inter beat Barcelona 3-2 in aggregate and advanced to the Champions League Final for the first time in nearly 40 years. Francisco will be here for the Champions League Final so we are going to go to Piazza Duomo to watch it on the big screen with the rest of the city. In case you missed the game, here is the celebration at the end!
During the game Gustaf told us about how he had been to the Ferrari museum in Maranello and test drove a Ferrari for 15 minutes for 60Euros. Needless to say, I am going to look into taking a trip down there to see if I can test drive one as well. It might not be possible since I don't have an EU driver's license but that would be incredible!
The next few days of last week I just spend studying and trying to feel better but on Thursday I went to the Alfa Romeo museum with a few friends. Bart, a friend from Holland, has his car here so picked me up after class with the rest of the gang (Jaap, Daniel, and Krishan) and we all headed to the outskirts of Milan to visit the storied car maker. I never realized that Alfa Romeo had started in Milan so it was cool to learn about its history and also see some really really old cars. Overall it was a lot of fun to go to the museum but to also spend time with some friends. On the way home we stopped at Burger King and it was great. Friday morning I met up with Johan, his roommates and a crew of Norwegians to celebrate Valborg, a Swedish holiday. They didn't really seem to know why Valborg started but it's basically a huge party where everyone sprays champagne on each other (think a formula one victory celebration). We also ate strawberries and chocolate which is also a tradition. It was a lot of fun but afterward I decided that I wanted to get my hair cut because it makes me feel even hotter when I am outside. When I got to the hair salon the guy asked me why my hair was full of champagne (or spumante in Italian) and it was a really entertaining exchange. My haircut only cost 8Euros and now I look like I am ready to go to work!
Here is my last picture before my haircut!
Friday night I went out to a club called Alcatraz with Laetitia, Daniel and Carlos (a friend from Brazil) and we had a good time, but it was SOOOO far away. I probably won't go back just because it was so far away. Afterward we had a hard time finding a cab so I didn't get home until way past my bed time. Saturday evening I went to Oyvind's place for a pre-party and I ended up being the first person there so we watched some scenes from a tv show he really likes and it was really funny. After everyone else got there we all had a good time talking and hanging out and then we all went to Just Cavalli for a night of dancing. I decided to head home relatively early because I had to do homework the next day but I still had a lot of fun. After I left it took me like 30 minutes to get a cab but I was finally able to jump in a cab before a group of other guys and as we drove away they all chased the cab which was interesting.
The next day I found out Krishan's dad had passed away a couple days earlier in an automobile accident. Krishan is a friend from Germany and was with us at the Alfa Romeo accident. Another one of my friend's grandfather also passed away this week so it has been kind of crazy with so many tragic things happening. On Monday my group for my Innovation Management class had to present for 8 minutes on the format war between Blu-ray and HD DVD so I spend all day Sunday working on it. The two girls I was working with both wanted me to present alone and I didn't really like the presentation we had all put together earlier in the week so I revamped the entire thing and then spent hours going over it to make sure I really liked it. The next day I rehearsed it many times because we were scheduled to be the last group to present (7pm!). All of the hard work ended up really paying off because several people told me it was a great presentation and even while I was presenting I could feel everyones' eyes on me. In contrast, when other groups presented it seemed like half the class was not paying attention and people in the audience were talking to each other. As I was leaving class the professor stopped me to congratulate me so it was a great way to end the day. That was my last lecture of that class so now my Mondays are pretty open and now I basically just have 3 lectures. I will still have a final for that class in June tho so I need to start studying for it soon. After I left class I met up with some friends at Cheese, an aperitivo next door to Iguana, for Rachel's birthday. You might remember Rachel as my really nice friend who I went to church with at the Duomo. Relaxing after my presentation and having dinner with friends was a great way to end the night!
Tuesday I finally was able to go grocery shopping and it feels great to finally have some food here! I went to a grocery store called Esselunga because it was raining a lot and I figured I would have to be outside less if I took the tram to get there rather than walking to Sma, the one I normally go to. The only different things I got was beef (I normally don't cook meat here) and macaroni and cheese (no one in Italy eats it). For dinner I made the 4 pieces of meat for dinner and they were delicious. I was able to eat all 4 pieces because they were pretty small. Yesterday the inner Mexican in me really wanted fajitas for dinner so I invited a few friends to a Mexican restaurant (Ristorante Messicano in Italian) called Papas and Beer. As the name suggests, it was a Mex-Tex restaurant but Jaap, Johan, Daniel, and I really enjoyed the fajitas. It was not until after I decided to eat Mexican for dinner that I realized that it was Cinco de Mayo so that was pretty cool. After dinner, Jaap and I met up with some friends at a bar to watch the final of the Coppa Italia between Inter and Roma. The game was really intense and we all knew there was going to be a red card at some point because the game was extremely chippy. In the closing minutes Francesco Totti took the honors of getting the red card when he kicked another player intentionally in what was one of the dirtiest plays I have ever seen. He followed up by touching the player in the head with his toes and for a second I thought he was going to kick his head. In the end Inter won and earned their first title of the season but they have a chance to win a total of 3 which would be really impressive. They can still win the Scudetto by winning the Serie A and then of course the Champions League if they beat Bayern Monaco (as they call them here in Italy). After the game we went to our Icelandic friends house for a few beers and to watch some youtube videos which were really funny. I showed them the grape lady video which is a personal favorite and they really liked it.
Here is the goal from the game last night by Milito! Inter won 1-0 and this was a great shot!
Today I got done with classes and now I am just in my room relaxing and trying to get caught up with studying for my JPMorgan training exam. Oscar and some other friends have guests from out of town visiting so these next few days I will probably be going out with them to celebrate. Tomorrow I am going back to the Icelandic guys' place for dinner and then we are going out to a club called Karma if the weather isn't too rainy. IT has been raining for the past week or so and there are no signs of it letting up. Francisco will be here in 13 days and I couldn't be more excited for him to arrive. We are going to have a great time together.