Within my first couple of weeks in Milan, the frustration set in. Significant public transportation delays, late meetings, unannounced store closings and the fact that if you miss the opportunity to eat between 11am and 3 p.m. the whole country is basically a food desert until 6 p.m. when restaurants reopen. Other frustrations involved the simple notion that people were barely reliable, rarely on-time, and ALWAYS over-charging for goods and services.
These frustrations turned in to me having a ton of spare “waiting time” which I found Italians were actually used to. It was almost as if they were completely blissful and at many times carefree. This is how I discovered the visceral pleasure that is niente di fare. Essentially, I was learning to do nothing.
It was a slow realization but now that I am nearing the end of my journey, I realized that I had been living in Italy, but not living like an Italian. I was always trying to find a place to eat that did require me to sit down, like fast food restaurants which are few and far between. But from my daily observations, I learned that living as an Italian means recognizing that every moment doesn’t have to be filled with productivity or that it’s perfectly normal for a couple of guys to sit in the park midday with a brew and smoke. In actuality, this was considered time well spent – headspace.
Living like an Italian also has implications for style. Italians take the time to realize that there isn’t a direct correlation between style and price. Style is simply design, unforced elegance, quality, and attention to the details.
By no means do I regret how I spent my time in Milan, but I will say that I have learned a great about the fabric that goes into designing my best life. So with that, I’m eternally grateful for such a dope experience.