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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Three Years in my Life

(After you read this post, please read the following one. I am seeking your input and advice!)

My parents have done many great things
for my brother and I in our lifetimes.

But, I think the most life altering thing they did
was move our family to Milan, Italy when I was about nine.

For three years, we had the distinct privilege 
of growing up in another country,
immersed in another language and culture.

We got to visit other countries from there
and see things that many people will only 
dream of seeing or see pictures of in books.

My brother and I both suffer from poor memories--
for whatever reason we both have spotty recollections
of our youth.

For me, however, my clearest recollections of my youth
are from this time in Italy-- clearly one of my 
greatest times of personal growth and development.

Some of my favorite memories:

Chasing pigeons outside of the Duomo
in Piazza del Duomo,

then going shopping in the Galleria

and then stopping off for some incredible

If you ever get to Milan, you must, MUST find this little back alley, hole in the wall panzerotto shop.

For years after leaving Milan, I dreamed of these.
I can still conjure up the smells and tastes of this crowded
little shop. YUUUUUUUMMMMMM.

We lived in a two story apartment at the top
of a building on Via San Filelfo. 

We lived on floors nine and ten.

On the ninth floor was a long balcony
that ran the length of the back of the apartment.

On a clear day from that balcony, you could see the Swiss Alps.

That was an education in many, many ways.

Let's just say that the community at large there was
"free-er" than we had been brought up to be. 


One of the great things about my school was the 
huge array of countries represented.

Just in my class alone I remember students from
Russia, Turkey, Nigeria, Norway, Germany, England and America.

I'm sure there were many more than I am remembering 
just now.

My classmates had names like Sven, Murat, Aljosha, Luca, Alessandro, Paolo and Valeria. 

Again, it was an education that had nothing to do 
with books and teaching but life.

Finally, I have the honor of saying that I sustained
an injury in Milan by very special means:
I was hit by a police car (Carabinieri) crossing the street
in front of La Scala!
Yep, I was hobbled right there in front of the famous 
Opera House.

I was whisked away by ambulance and fitted with a cast.
In my mind, I was now officially a celebrity!

Yep, my friends, those were wonderful days and now treasured memories!


nicrogers said...

I love hearing(reading) about your experience living in milan. That really is cool. I would totally love to have a simimar experience for my family.

Lori - The Simple Life at Home said...

You know, with that little comment at the top, you set me up to think you were about to ask advice about moving overseas. I was about to shout out, "Hey, come join me!!"

Somehow, though, I don't think that my kids memories will be as magical as MILAN!!!! Pretty hard to top Italy, you know.

Laura said...

I'm with Lori - join us abroad! ;) I've never been to Milan, but my husband and I honeymooned in Italy, and I loved it. What a special time for your family!

Thanks for swinging by earlier. It's always good to have new voices to our mix at MQM.

Nancy said...

Really enjoyed reading about your childhood memories of living in Milan.Enjoyed the pictures you used to illustrate your memories.

desperate housewife said...

So are Italian hospitals as scary as I've heard?

dkuroiwa said...

How lucky you were that your parents did that...the memories will last forever..or for you and your brother, the pictures will!!
My dream is to one day visit Italy...but until then, I will just look at the pictures....and dream.....
Thanks for sharing your memories!!

Jody said...

Wow! That is so very cool! How loucky you guys were to have expereinced living there!

I hope on eday to take my kids there for an extended stay....maybe with some relatives in Bari for a summer. (sigh) One day......