Friday, October 04, 2013

When in Milan!

Kavitha Thumu, one of my good friends back from engineering days, is in Milan (Italy) right now, as part of a student exchange program from NIT Warangal. She is excited to be in a new country, that she is visiting for the first time in her life and so full of stories to the brim. This excited me as well. As far as abroad is concerned, I have gone to Nepal. That’s it. That too without a passport when I was just 8 years old from my hometown Gorakhpur, which has the country’s border nearby. And as I don’t have any recollections of the place, I don’t count it in my list of abroad trips! A list that is technically empty right now.  

Milan seems more adventurous. It pops up Leonardo da Vinci, A.C.Milan and Milan Fashion Week in my mind. This city is the second largest city in Italy. It has one of the country’s largest international airports. And the fact that Rome, the city of ultimate romance, is just 5 hours 28 minutes away from it, makes the city more valuable in the hearts of young lovers! :)

Kavitha started from Hyderabad at 4:20am. She had to travel in two connected flights. One was from Hyderabad to Dubai and the second one straight from Dubai to Milan. She had a wonderful experience in the 10 hours journey and didn’t get bore even for a single minute. She didn’t experience much jet lag thankfully except a day of leg pains. She reached Milan at around 6pm as per Indian timings. When asked what difference did she find in that place when compared to ours, she had lots to tell. Firstly, the atmosphere in Milan is quite peaceful. There is no big population travelling in the city’s transport systems when compared to India’s overcrowded metros and buses. People there have high social etiquette and manners. They are a disciplined lot. Even a stranger walking on a road will break a smile to greet and acknowledge you. The public transportation is smooth and flexible. One will not see a train coming even 1 second late. For food, rice and varieties of vegetables are in plenty in grocery shops. If not that, then one can honor the country’s code and eat what every human being on the planet loves to eat-pasta! 

Her new college’s name is Politecnico di Milano, which is the largest technical university in Italy, shown in the above picture. After a bit of a struggle, she finally got accommodation and landed with an Italian roommate. The only problem that she is facing right now is that very few people speak and understand English there. Mainly people speak in Italian, a language now my friend has started learning too! Her roommate is helping her in that. The new term in the college is yet to start. She came early so that she can get acquainted in the new place quickly before she gets busy with her college work. Being in a new country sounds cool but needs ample of advance planning and adjusting, if you are staying for a long duration of time. 

There is a beautiful path surrounded by flowers and plants that my friend walks through every time she comes out of her apartment. She is blessed to be living near greenery and healthier environment. Her only issue is with the television. No Star Plus or Set Max. Only Italian channels! I advised her to learn the language first and then try watching the TV :)

She visited the famous Duomo di Milano, the country’s largest cathedral church. It is situated at the center of Milan, whose construction was started in 1385 and finished in 1965. Nearly some six centuries were spent in building and erecting this magnificent and beautiful construction.  In the front is a wide open large area where tourists can easily roam and relax. The inside of this church is fascinating as well. A person would be lost forever within its deep, ancient walls and dark and silent interior structure.     

I wonder when I will visit this country! I want to see the Colosseum in Rome and the Leaning Tower of Pisa too. I want to visit Milan to take a tour of the city with my friend. And then drag her and have some adventures in Rome. We know Italy virtually through books and movies. But to go there would be a wonderful experience. I wonder if Infosys will ever think of opening a DC in Rome or Milan! If that time comes and I am still on Earth, then I will definitely write a post on 'When in Rome!' 

And above picture talks of the lady herself. Presenting Kavitha! A big hug and thanks to her for allowing me to share her side of the story and the wonderful pictures that she clicked :-)
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