Our plane leaves half an hour late but arrives just 10 minutes after time. For the first time in my life I am earliest on the plane, I’m usually about last as I don’t see the point of sitting on a plane when you have several hours to go. This though is my first European trip in years so a short hop in comparison to two decades of transatlantic flights.
This is the flight they ask me if I’d like more leg room and to sit by the exit door, the one that’s barely enough long enough for me to read the Post and get into my book (read 4 pages). Still I take my ‘emergency door operator’ responsibilities seriously and for once read the instructions. They don’t trust me though and the steward gives me one-to-one tuition. You’re reading this so thankfully I didn’t need my new knowledge.
The only thing about flying out from Birmingham is that I don’t have a chance to experience Air Italia’s food and service but that’s not enough to get me to fly out from London. I do have another theory why my two favourite colours are red and green; I’ve recently come to the conclusion that it’s because I love Christmas but as we land and I spot the Air Italia plane, it could just be the Italian flag.
I immediately feel under par as soon as I arrive at the airport; everyone here is ultra glam, slim & stylish. It’s been ten years and I’ve forgotten how easy the Italians make it look.
I decide to risk an Italian taxi and not only survive but I’m pleasantly surprised that the cab driver rounds down from €10.10 rather than waiting for me to say, ‘make it €12’.
As I start to walk around to get my bearings every woman I see is the same. Even their unkempt hair looks glamorous; everyone has colour and perfect haircuts so I don’t think there’s any such thing as natural hair here.
In amongst the abundance of mainly Italian designer shops I come across a book shop that specialises in automobile reads. I spot the Duomo, the much talked about cathedral a couple of times but I’m saving that for a rainy day and when my friend flies out to join me.
I’m writing this at Passarella Cafe on a main street sitting outside under a canopy but the outdoor heating is so warm, I can take my coat off. There’s no menu so how is everyone else ordering? I’ll settle for pretty much anything in Italy as I know even the fast food tastes good. I love this!
I’m amazed how I’ve managed to write 500 words with the distractions of both perfectly coiffed hair and Fendi shopping bags walking past me
The downside is that everyone smokes. The two on my left have their unlit cigarettes poised ready for as soon as they have inserted their last mouthful but I guess my asthma can take that for a few days. In any case, rain is due so I’m staying outside as much as I can until then.
Now, it’s time for my first coffee in Italy. The first of many as the 2 daily cups rule goes out the window here; this the real deal.
Day 2 follows.