After leaving Amsterdam, it was time to get into Italy and begin making my way further south. Milan was the easiest place to fly in to so I booked an AirBnB for my first night there, thinking I might not get great sleep in while staying at the hostel in Amsterdam. When we touched down, it was getting dark and my phone was almost dead. This blog’s title should be changed to, the kindness of strangers when an iPhone is dying. Anyways, I was, thankfully, lucky enough to find an Italian man who was able to look up which train to take and to which stop; coincidentally, the same train as him. When coming up to my stop, I thanked the man and made my way out into the night.
Outside of the train station stood a couple of police officers joking with another man in Italian. I asked, “scussi , parli inglesse?” They did not, but we tried our best to communicate and eventually they said bus and pointed in a direction. I walked around to the bus stop where a nice Italian couple was waiting. I asked them, “scussi, parli inglesse?” The wife did and we were off to the races. The woman looked up my AirBnB and told me it was a short walk away. The husband, in his broken English, walked with me for half a block and gave me directions.
I started walking and would randomly stop people asking, “parli inglesse?” If the answer was yes, I would double check my course and continue forward.
Eventually, I found the street that the AirBnB was located on and began the search for the address which read, #6. The only problem was, I couldn’t find #6 on the street. Eventually, an older woman walked down the street with a backpack on wheels. I asked her, “scussi, parli inglesse?” She said, “yes, I thought you might be lost. You had that look on your face.” I asked her if she knew where #6 was and, although she did not, she was willing to help me look for it.
We ended up ringing the bill of half of the houses on the block and asking if they knew where #6 was. Eventually, enlisting the help of an older gentleman. The three of us were now walking up and down the street looking for #6.
After a few minutes the older man asked me if I had a phone number for the host of the AirBnB. I did not, but suggested, if he let me sign in to my AirBnB on his phone, I was sure there would be a number listed. He agreed and we found the number. When he called though, the number was not a working number. I looked at the profile hoping to find some clue as to where this AirBnB might be located. This is when we realized that #6 was an apartment number, not the street address. Thankfully, the woman with us recognized the picture of the man in the profile. “He lives in my building!”, she said. “Are you sure?”, I asked. “Yes!” We thanked the Italian man and she walked me into her building. Together we walked up to the 6th apartment, knocked on the door and were greeted by someone house sitting for my AirBnB host. I thanked the woman and asked if I could buy her coffee or wine or flowers, she said she was just thankful to help me and said good night.
I would end up spending the next two days in Milan planning out the next leg of my trip as well as purchasing an Italian SIM card, the rest, was non eventful.