Sensory overload! Somehow I forgot about jet lag. I essentially got 6 hours of sleep over 2 days of travel and couldn’t understand why I have a massive headache and equal irritability. Still, stepping out into Milan is a breathtaking experience. Immediately you are surrounded by a mix of ancient and modern, in the same way many advertisements mix Italian with choice America English phrases. It can be jarring and magical. I have learned that just because I hear someone insert and English phrase in their sentence, it doesn’t mean they speak English.
It is spring here and the grass is green and flowers are in bloom everywhere in stark contrast to the snowy residues of Mud season back home. Even with such beautiful temperatures, I see people bundled up, only taking off their heavier leather jackets at the full height of the sun. Nobody wears shorts here and I’m sure I would stand out more if I did. I am glad I brought a suit jacket because it is very common on men in both business and casual wear.
Although there is a great deal of material published in English and the language is apparent throughout everyday media. Less people speak the language than I would have expected, however those who do are always enthusiastic to converse and help me. All announcements are in Italian of course and as I stop by booths at the marathon expo, the panicked look of a dreamer who is naked in front of their high school math class flashes across people face. There is always a lot of excitement when you tell them you came from the states to run the marathon.
I am going running at 7pm with a local athletic group. People who have run with me know how I feel about running in the evening, but it should be a beautiful sunset with a group very dedicated to improving their runs and growing a supportive group. They are the folks providing pacers on Sunday and they have pacers for 5:30 and 6:00 so I am grateful for their support.