Apparently hearing about the lecherous Milanese public transport system and my fear of invoking the devil by crossing myself backwards has not been enough for some readers, who want to know what I actually do all day, so here goes.
I get out of bed sometime before seven and, in true Italian style, pump myself full of caffeine (high-quality home-brewed espresso) and sugar (jam-filled croissants, custard- filled croissants, nutella filled croissants...) and go to work. To save everyone's sanity, let's skip over that and just say that the people are lovely and so are the cafeteria lunches, which have 3 or 4 courses, including pasta, meat or cheese with vegetables, dessert and fruit.
I leave work at about five and go home, often stopping off on the way to pick up some local cherry tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, watermelon or a bottle of red Bardolino DOC.On Wednesday nights, I've been going to sing in a choir, where we're rehearsing 2 pieces of church music for concerts in November and December. Most other nights, I stay in and watch the news on TV (in an attempt to understand the Italians' view of their society) or read my book, which is Inglese by Beppe Severgnini and is an Italian journalist's take on the Brits (in an attempt to understand the Italians' view of our society).
Friday nights are a little bit different though. A few people from work usually go to the bar to enjoy some aperitivi. This word is often translated as "happy hour", but that couldn't be more of a mistranslation. Instead of getting 2 Smirnoff Ice for the price of one, you pay a couple of euros more for your drink and get access to an entire buffet meal in return. Most places charge 7-10 euros for this, but there's a bar near the school that only charges 4, and their menu includes cocktails, meaning that I can have a mojito and my tea for less than the price of a vodka and coke in some of the more expensive places at home.
I've spent my weekends in Milan so far and been to see the town with friends from work or an Italian friend of a friend who lives here. I've also discovered 2 good rollerblading parks, although the only other rollerbladers I've seen have been men in their sixties, and been cultured and visited Santa Maria delle Grazie, which is the church where The Last Supper is.
I usually manage to fit in a couple of gelati during the weekend too, and I've discovered at least three new favourite flavours. I wonder how long it will be before it gets to cold for Italians to eat ice cream without believing they'll get ill. A long time, I hope