Friday, November 11, 2011
A Passion for Fashion
There we are, at the airport in Milan, Italy, after what felt like a 75-hour flight. It’s mid-morning (after flying all night) and my wife Anita is studying the various options for making our way to downtown Milan. We can take a bus to the train station, we can take a train to the bus station, we can take...
I tell her that we can discuss it in the cab on the way to the hotel. Yes, it’s the most expensive option on the table, but I believe that spending my children's inheritance will teach them an important lesson about character.
At the hotel, Anita succumbs to the lack of sleep and decides to grab a quick nap before our planned afternoon tour.
Brandishing a map and a sense of adventure, I hit the streets of Milan in search of replacement duds since I only have the clothes I’m wearing after losing my luggage on the way over. I gaze at my dozing wife on the very-real chance that this is the last time I will ever see her. After all, I don’t have a stellar track record with not getting lost in foreign cities…
Milan is all about fashion. Armani, Versace, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Pucci, Gucci and many more took off on Milan’s runways. Fashionistas make a pilgrimage here to shop at the designers’ flagship stores in the Quadrilatero d’Oro (Golden Quad). Clearly, if you need to replace a wardrobe, this is the place to do it!
I spend 20 minutes in one shop before realizing that a silk scarf there would cost more than the best suit I own. The exchange rate isn’t doing me any favors, either; in the great cage fight of monetary currency, the Euro has hit the U.S. dollar with a Spinning Backfist and a cartwheel kick to the throat.
I finally find a store with comfortable, semi-affordable clothing and I load up. I even find
a stout duffle bag so I don’t have to carry all my clothes in a plastic bag like a homeless person.
The checkout lady speaks zero English so I just nod my head when she spouts her jibber-jabber. For all I know, she’s asked “Do you realize that you are purchasing the least fashionable clothes in all Milan?”
Now… which way was that hotel?