Today is the last day of legendary Fashion Week in Milan (September 21th to 27th). Famous names of Italian designers like Armani, D&G, Prada, Gucci, Versace etc. showed their vision of what to wear the following year. But is that glitter world is a real face of Milan?
They say that Milan is the European New York. The diversity of fashion trends, shopping malls and glamor cafes must be higher than in any other major town in European Union. Even having 6 hours for filming in Milan I had enough for not coming back there again.
The lovely Gothic pie-looking Duomo, the massive Castello Sforzesco and the bizarre glory of La Scala theater were just the best excuses to forgive what this city did to me. And I will start my cautionary tale from the beginning.
The first hour was naively wasted in trying to find any parking place. After the 3rd circle around the Sforzesco castle, we realize that this town has not a clear idea about the most ordinary parking facilities. And finally we found some spot to leave our car with our entire luggage inside nearby the embassy of Ethiopia and the main office of Carabinieri (Italian police) at a walking distance from the main streets.
But just imagine, that for paying for the parking you need to find either the railway station or a press kiosk. The nearest place for this stupid formality was 7 minutes away. They sold us some bright big papers with a golden layer, that we had to scratch with coins on proper places. The proper places were 5 lines indicating: year, month, date, time of validation of this rubbish (hour: minutes) and the time of expiry. And everyone could see the bright advertisement that we would be out of the car for 5 hours! How stupid is that! What about privacy, which is such an important issue in modern society.
The second hour was spent discovering Milan. I remember reading somewhere that its fog is as intrinsic as in London. Houses do look gray, weather is slightly rainy, but in general the architecture looks fine. I think they invented fashion in Milan in order to have more colors in life. Indeed the ordinary Milanese looks too posh – if you find any wrinkle in somebody’s suit he can not be from Milan! Men even smoke too elegantly, even on the street.
The next hour was dedicated to our lunch break. We found a typical Italian fast food – Pizza place. You can find a long line in every fast food place, especially in the center, but to have a wide line, concentrated near the counter is something unusual. Another discovery for us – locals don’t know what a queue is. Or probably its beyond their identity to wait for someone else’s order.
My last 3 hours turned into an unexpected scenario, which Shakespeare could have transformed into a great drama. Just out of the blue we got a call from an Italian lady. She named the place to meet for picking up our passports. How did she have our documents? With this killing thought my friend ran to the meeting point and I – to our car.
My guess turned into reality when I saw our open car empty. They had just robbed us, they stole everything I had and even more – they stole our professional equipment! They even took a big backpack with books, weighting around 20 k! I hope this intelligent burden made them sweat well. So after all, my camera, my watch and the clothes I was wearing were my only luggage left. Quite a shitty feeling, if to be more precise it is something between feeling homeless and broken. By some weird lucky strike they dropped our passports on the ground and some lady -our savior- found them. I have no idea how it happened that she found out our mobile phone number in the receipt from the hotel inside the passport, but due to it I was able to back home.
Of course we went to the Police department, which was just nearby! And they looked so relaxed, that I got an impression that only models are working in Carabinieri – handsome with a beautiful smile but no brains. Neither English spoken nor toilet paper inside the department.
An hour was spoiled in waiting, and signing official papers that were the only smart thing they could do for us. I went mad and ran to the parking place, to look for some trace. Of course I didn’t find any, but hope springs eternal. In the park nearby I discovered the real face of Milan… Bushes with garbage, strange people having fun with drugs and gays having their intercourse at daytime. It was a scary place, seriously! And only 10 minutes away from a center! No policemen stopped, they did cut the telephone conversation to the official call center… Carabinieri promised to call, but after 10 months no one did yet.
Maybe it was a smart Milan’s way to force me to update my wardrobe. But I think it was vital lesson for me to never come back to this city with a beautiful cover but with no sweets inside.
Originally posted at www.zemia.eu