Forks in the Road

Milan, Italy, an iconic city known for its fashion and culture, has stolen my heart. From its bustling City Center to the overabundance of gelato shops, Milan has left me in awe from its beauty.

Although I am studying mainly in Milan, I feel compelled to share a rather funny story about a day trip to Lugano, Switzerland, a Swiss-Italian town bordering Italy.

More details and exciting anecdotes will be featured in later posts…

The day began with a quick trip to Lake Como, known mainly in the United States as the location of Oscar winner, George Clooney’s Italian home. This area is a gorgeous lake surrounded by a mixture of upscale eateries and quaint shops. After taking a tram to a mountain top, a group of nine of us decided to take a trip to nearby Lugano, Switzerland. Of course, we were excited since we would get to visit two countries in one day.

At around 2 p.m., our group decided we would purchase our train tickets to Lugano at the station we arrived at. Upon arrival, the ticket vendor informed the group we would have to walk ten minutes away to another train station. Stressfully, we power walked to the train station with only about eight minutes to spare. Naturally, we begin running, running like Usain Bolt during the London Olympics ready to clench a gold medal in our hands.  As the nine of us are running, one of our companions is noticeably slower than the rest of the pack, and a middle-aged Italian woman nearby says something like “Of course the bigger one is trailing behind”, not knowing that the majority of the group understands and/or speaks Spanish and can decipher certain words or phrases.

After some laughter and some breath-catching, we find a kiosk to purchase our train tickets with only three minutes to spare.  With credit cards and euro bills out, the kiosk’s system relays a message reading in capitalized letters “SYSTEM OUT OF ORDER, TRY AGAIN”. Dripping in sweat, we walk angrily to another kiosk and purchase another ticket for another train ride.  In other words we ran a marathon for a train ride we did not even go on.

But rest assured, we did manage to see Switzerland’s Lake Lugano. A majestic view of blue water and green foliage surrounding it.

Moral of the story: If ever abroad, it is OK if things go awry. Not everything will go as planned and the odds may not ever be in your favor (obvious Hunger Games reference). But, it is important that you are making memories every day you are abroad. Whether your shoe gets stuck in gum or you fell while crossing Italian streets (yes, this did happen to me), know that it will make a pretty funny story when you come back home!

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