My first couple of weeks here in italy were like a love affair with this beautiful country. I was too dazzled and in the early stages of infatuation to see any of the flaws. Now that I've had some time to get to know Italy, I'm starting to see that maybe it's not as perfect as I thought. I still love the food, wine, architecture, and appreciation of culture, but I'm getting sick and tired of all the frigging holidays, and the fact that everything is closed so much of the time. My american self, my 24 hour Walmart self, is creeping out, and I'm starting to want to pound on the closed doors of the stores and scream "you could be making money right now! I, and the 7,000 other people aimlessly wandering the streets at this moment could be inside spending our hard earned money on YOUR crap!!!!!" But no one would hear me because they're all apparently at their houses in the country having a barbeque. On a thursday.
As you may have guessed, today, May 1st, is another holiday. It's like labor day or something. My swiss friend in the cast and I decided to take the train to Milan, which is only about an hour away (pictured here is the inside of the station), and meet my American friend Kate and have a meal and walk around. We thought, since Milan is a MAJOR city and this seems like maybe a somewhat minor holiday, that things would probably be open and we could at least do some shopping and eating. Well, the only people walking around Milan today were tourists, but what they were all doing walking around the streets is anybody's guess, since nothing was open. We had an overpriced and underwhelming lunch at a touristy restaurant (one of the few places open) and walked around trying to find something to look at. The only open stores seemed to be the ladies underwear stores and this one big bookstore/computer store/cafe. Do you know that I have been in Italy for nearly 3 weeks, and I have not bought one thing yet? I have eaten out at restaurants, and I also bought a copy of the New Yorker for 8 euros (seriously) and a pack of batteries for my mini keyboard, but no clothes, no leather handbags, no italian shoes, NOTHING. Something is very wrong with this picture.
On the positive side, it was a beautiful day (picture below is a statue in one of the piazzas here in Torino), I spent some time with people I like, and decided that out of the cities I've seen in Italy so far, I actually like the one I'm in the best. I'd better hunker down and get ready to work because my next day off isn't until.......Monday! That's right, 4 whole days of work in a row! Actually it's only 3 and a half because Sunday we only have 3 hours of rehearsal. And no, I didn't do my laundry today because it was a holiday and no one was in the hotel to open the door to the machines. But hey, nobody's perfect - not even the country that invented pizza.