Malign Milan Mini Series: Part 1


So it's a first on my blog; a guest post from my better half.
I've written about him, featured him in photos and now I've subcontracted him! Caelan jetted off to Milan the day after we returned from Warsaw aand I asked him to write a piece about his trip for my blog. The rest of the series will be continued over on The Better Half.

Malign Milan Mini Series: Part 1

Hey, for anyone that doesn't know me I'm Rogues+Brogues other half. He kept referring to me as his better half (so true) so I decided to give blogging ago under that pseudonym. I'm more of a photo blogger than a sit-down-and-write-a-piece kinda guy, but seeing as RB couldn't make it on my latest trip he asked me to put something together for his readers. I have a completely different writing style from him so please don't expect a well thought out piece.
The Back-story

In March I turned 29 and I thought to myself "It's about time that you headed off for a few days on your own." I'd never done it before, back when I was 21, I was heading to America for 3 weeks with my ex (an ex for a reason!); he decided last minute he wasn't going - I had everything booked! I could have went on my own but chickened out and managed to get my good friend Nicola to come with me - those were good times!! (Not that they aren't now but I actually had money back then)
Later that year I was due to go to South East Asia with a friend (ex friend - bit of a pattern here) but that didn't happen either. It was a 5 week trip that never happened - alas it paveded the way for the future and I wouldn't be where I am now if I had have went.

Sorry I digress, where was I? Oh yes; travelling alone.

I decided the week before my 29th that I was going to go somewhere, anywhere and when I seen that return flights to Milan were 38 from Belfast I was like "Yes that will do" that didn't happen either; two of my lovely aunts were not having me travel alone so they decided "hey lets all go!" OK I was game, I knew I was going to have a great time with them, their company was the best thing about the trip and I'm so thankful that they decided to come. I'm sure people will surely disagree with me on this (I know one blogger for certain) but it definitely wasn't my cup of tea, but then again these our my opinions (based on actual events - no alternative facts here).

While writing this it became apparent that I had way too much to say for one blog so, I decided to split it up into the three days of my trip with the first instalment being found here. Originally it was going to be a Do and Don't piece hence the first line but it evolved into something else - enjoy!

Do You Have A Girlfriend?

I thought to myself, what better 1st picture is there other than a giant flocked flamingo?

Do not book! No seriously go somewhere else!

It's not that I don't like the city it's just that it's terrible (insert picture of The Good Wife's Judge Patrice Lessner here) OK maybe not terrible but definitely not on my top destinations; usually I fall in love with a big metropolis! I'm no stranger to big cities but when you get off the airport bus and have 5 different people try to show you how to buy tickets you know straight away what you have let yourself in for. I know some of you are like, "Wait. What? They're just being nice, isn't that friendly?" No, don't be sucked in:

1. They're looking you to pay them for it.
2. They probably have their accomplice taking belongings out of your back pack.

Do not be fooled!! Go to the ticket office in Central Station and by yourself a Milan Card, you can buy them in 24 and 48 or 72 hour passes they give you access to ride on all forms of public transport. I you want to sort it before you go you can pick one up from Viator online for £11.55. So with the aunts and Milan card in tow we make our way to the gorgeous boutique EuroHotel situated in the up and coming Porta Venezia district! 

You might have already guessed it but we were in for a rude awakening! The hotel must have hired a really good photographer (or only had one really nice room) because we ended up in two of them and one was no better than the other.
The manager said they needed to do up the room but would have to take them off the market to do that and they couldn’t because they were too busy... That's standard practice, no?

The laminate flooring in both rooms was actually peeling lifting. In the second room they had a stained carpet actually stapled over the worst part of the floor; I know this because I tripped on it and it lifted up, nearly taking the floor with it!

What we were expecting and what we actually got! 

We asked to upgrade (ha!) but they were fully booked. We toyed around with the idea of booking a completely new hotel but with the cost of this hotel and the £600 average price of a new hotel, we kept telling ourselves it's only somewhere to sleep & that we’d be out most of the time anyway. None-the-less there is nothing worse than getting a really shit hotel.

Anyhoo, deciding to make the most of it, we donned our stylish and late spring appropriate light jackets... Or so we thought.
I've not mentioned the weather yet, but it was not as warm it was forecast to be. Apparently Milan has its own weather system that changes every day, so dressing for "summer" was a mistake.

We headed out, we ended up at a lovely restaurant two doors down from the hotel (location was one of the only things it had going for it). The restaurant Rosy e Gabriele 1 has been serving good Italian food since the early 40s; we didn't have any drinks with the meal so lunch was actually a decent price.

Enjoying the Local Cuisine 
After lunch we headed up the bustling Corso Buenos Aires for some shopping.
Being one of the fashion capitals of the world,  I have say the shopping was really the only thing the city had going for me.
In case you didn't know I am a big shopper. I mean big. I'm happy to spend a whole day in a city just browsing shops, even the ones that you have back home, because they generally have nicer menswear.

I will just point out that my love from shopping came from my aunts and these ladies are professionals; they give me and Ian a run for our money! I think we went into pretty much every shop on the street and fell in love with a company called 3INA (picking up some face masks for later that evening).

Some of my favourite snaps of the day - who would have guessed 3 of them would be clothes...

Despite the colourful array above and the clothes I brought, the Milanese seem to wear all black!

After a few hours of shopping, an incredibly strong espresso, an Irish Coffee (more Irish than coffee) and one aunt falling asleep at the table, we thought it best to head back to the hotel for an Italian siesta. This is not something I'm used to as Ian and I generally leave our hotel room around 8am and aren't back until at least 11pm.
Considering we had been up since 3am and and I had just came back from Warsaw the previous day with a similarly early start, I thought it wouldn't do me any harm. Unless I caught something from the hotel bedroom...

We rested, got changed and this time headed into the city centre. The Duomo di Milano looked amazing lit up at night and this part of the city suited me much better, it was so grand and impressive and much cleaner than what we'd seen so far, things were looking up! We had a quick nosey around the Duomo and then decided to head to a restaurant for some food and a much needed drink.
For anyone that follows me on Instagram you will have seen my rant but for their rest of you I will explain.
So walking through the lovely Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II a guy came up to one aunt and said "For you pretty lady it's free."
My aunt politely declined but he insisted and started to tie some string round her arm. I don't really know what else happened as I had my own guy trying to do the same to me. I told him that I didn't want one and that I didn't have any money.

He insisted it's for you from me and asked did I have girlfriend?

"One for a girl too; it will get you plenty of sex!" 
(Um... Do you want to tell him or should I?)

At this point I felt like saying 'Thanks but you can keep your string and your girl sex' but I was afraid I might have got punched in the face.
He proceeded to tie two to my arm and then said "OK how much I can give you change" 
I told him I had no money and then it happened; he actually reached inside my coat and pulled at my wallet and said "Look I can give you change!"
Well now he was the one that was about to get punched in the face, but I opened my wallet and showed him it was empty. He didn't seem impressed but he didn't really have any other option than to let me leave.
Moral of that story; listen to the tourist and maybe get the money first, or possibly just piss off and leave people alone. 
After that we quickly walked to the nearest restaurant, but not before a guy selling roses tried to stop an aunt from passing without buying; let's just say there were a few adult words and he wisely backed off.  

Dinner was lovely at Caffe Mercantile, we sat under a canopy with heaters and shared a salad and antipasti board. A half glass of wine was €14 and what appeared to be a half pint of beer was €10 so yeah, drink was expensive! For an country known for wine, you think its house wine would have been much cheaper. Regardless I had a lovely meal with great company and great conversation. One aunt had never had Limoncello before so that was an essential and how we finished of our meal.

With the €140 bill paid (€80 of which was for very little alcohol), we jumped on the underground back to our hotel, stopping off at a local supermarket for some more wine and Lemoncellio (while in Rome Milan). In our PJ's with face masks on, we drank and chatted about the high hopes for the rest of our vacation.

These mask were amazing, and only €4.95 from 3ina

To Be Continued..!

I hope you enjoyed my first instalment, you can find out more about the rest of my trip next week on my own site
Thanks for listening to me moan, and thanks to Ian for making me sit down and write this! 

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