Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sand Castles

Day 96

I was a bit upset with myself for having stayed up so late the night before when my alarm went off at 5:30 am. I figured that I would walk across the bridge and then get a cab the rest of the way. The only problem was that there were no cabs. It seemed like the people just coming out of the night clubs were grabbing them all up before I could. I was pretty surprised when I managed to walk all the way to the train station with my bag extra heavy with books.

As it was Sunday morning and no one with a brain travels at this time I was pretty much the only person in my train compartment. I took advantage of the space and laid across several seats to sleep. I feel a bit better about sleeping in first class for some reason. The conductors seem to pay more attention and walk through more often than in second.

When I got to Milan, the financial and clothing capital of Italy, I was shocked that there was such a large number of well dressed people at the train station. It took me some time to find the right bus for my hostel. When I got on it some guy on the bus decided that it was his job to make sure that I made it to where I was going. He actually took the address out of my hands. This really bugs me. Some people do just want to be nice, others stalk the hostel until they can catch you leaving. I tried to tell him that I was fine, but he persisted. I would just have to be extra cautious for the next couple of days. I didn't need to worry though, I never saw him again.

After dropping off my bags and grabbing a map I headed out. It was another rather gross day and I thought I would go see a movie. To bad, no movies in English. Stupid dubbing. Instead I bought myself a couple of new books, just what I needed to carry around. I don't care though. I love how much time I have to read. When I was younger I read all the time. Between college, two jobs, a social life, and the never ending draw of the dvr I haven't been reading much in the last few years. I feel like I've discovered a long hidden secret about myself. This trip isn't just about travel, but also about having time to relax, and reading is the best way I can think of.

When I found the Duomo I simply stopped and stared. It was bright white against the dark and dreary sky. The spires looked a bit like the top of a sand castle that you dribbled water over. The inside, however, was not so interesting.

I really didn't know what to do with myself at this point. I was tired, it was gross out. I ended up sitting for a bit in the Duomo square. There were a bunch of Africans approaching people to give them bracelets. This is a huge scam and when they came near me I just told them to get lost, they didn't bother me after that. However, I did watch as they ripped one tourist off after another. The scam is that once they give you the bracelet they expect you to give them money even though they said ti was for free. If you don't give them money they hound you until you do.

Eventually I decided that all I really wanted was some ice cream. I also went and checked my email for a while and watched ANTM. At this point it was just about dinner time. A bar next to the hostel gave you free dinner with drink purchase so I ate there. Back at the hostel I met a friendly Wisconsinite named Kaitlyn. She had just graduated and was traveling before starting her first job. We made plans for the next day before I fell asleep.

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