Piano Piano

“Piano piano,” our Italian teacher always says to us in class. She means that slowly, or little by little we’ll pick up Italian. Some of my classmates have taken to saying that about everything regarding life in Milano. Slowly we’ll be able to finish all our pesky admin stuff we have to do regarding moving here. Slowly we’ll get the confusing math in our Quant Methods class. Slowly we’ll actually understand what the store owners are saying to us instead of just giving them blank looks.

Another week has gone by and it has been exhausting on a whole different level. Instead of running around trying to get different things done, most of us were stuck at school all day long in class or trying to understand what it was we actually learned in class. I didn’t think the 14 hour days would arrive until the actual program started in October, but I suppose the precourses are a good way to get thrown into what to expect in the coming months. But slowly things will become easier, concepts will become more clear and life in Milano will feel more comfortable. Yesterday I was looking at sale items at Zara Home with a friend and was surprised when my mind actually started thinking about how the various deals relates to consumer surplus. And today, as I was ordering figs and blueberries at the outdoor market, I felt comfortable chatting with the store owner about where I was from and what I was doing here (after only two Italian classes!) Last week the most I could do was point, call out numbers and say if I wanted more or less. Piano piano…

I’ve decided to start sharing some tips I’m learning about life here… together, we can lessen the number of dirty looks us expats get from the locals!

Todays tip: Grocery Shopping

In supermarkets, make sure to put on the gloves they provide before picking your fruits and veggies. Once you have it bagged, weigh it at the scale and put the price sticker it prints out on it before heading to the cash register. I learned this from a classmate who got yelled at in Italian by the cashier. She was so confused and stressed that she just paid for the wine and bounced.


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