So, one thing I realized when I was abroad: Pictures aren’t the only thing that carry a thousand stories; A lot of the time, we remembered what we did by the food we ate, and memories sift in from there.
I became that girl that took pictures of her (our) food.
And to cope with my abroad nostalgia, I’m sharing them bit-by-bit and creating a place where I can remember details via stomach. I’m also gathering these on Facebook, so I can have a one-stop collective album and matching narratives.
Thanks for watching my slow and bittersweet regurgitation. Buon appetito!
My jetlagged parents and I wandered through the streets of Milan… and realized there was no one else doing the same. Milan was DESERTED when we got there a week before my program. Humid, beautiful, but not the bustling Milanese metropolis we were expecting. Dormant. Like an unplugged arcade.
Thanks to my mediocre translation skills, even more mediocre Italian culture classes in high school & the quickly-scrawled notes on the closed doors of pretty much every store everywhere, I gathered that it was part of Ferragosto — starting mid-August, Italians everywhere pretty much take the entire rest of the month off. Everything shuts down. So we found the closest place that was still open, acted like we chose to eat there when really we had no choice, sipped wine and stared at each other like plastic-baggie fishes brought home from the carnival, trying to figure out what this place was.
This picture reminds me of my first nervous attempts at ordering in Italian, the first time a pity-faced waiter spared me/didn’t give me a chance & spoke to us in English, the first time I wasn’t really sure what I ordered, and those pockets of silence shared between us while we looked around and collectively thought…
“Where the f*#%_@%^ is Milan?”