Short Changed

Trip Start Dec 11, 2012
Trip End Oct 17, 2013

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Flag of Italy  , Lombardy,
Monday, June 17, 2013

There has always been something about Milan that has caused our guts to toitoi and pitch little protest tents with big banners reading "YOU MUST NOT GO! BEWARE MILANO!" We'd managed to avoid Milan like the plague before this. But no longer. It was unavoidable. We had a plane to catch.

Locking up our bags at the train station, we figured we might as well lie in one of Milan's parks until we needed to catch the last train to the airport. By now we are seasoned metro travelers, yet not even we were prepared for this. A large portion of Milan's beggar population had gathered around the ticket machines. They kept trying to "help" you by pushing buttons. Claudia was trying to body block the woman who seemed to have staked out our machine, but I wasn't quick enough for the hand that shot out of left field and claimed our €2 change. I faced the man cupping our coin. €2 isn't much, but it's the principle of the thing, after all. I demanded my money back. He shook his head, grinned and TOSSED IT INTO HIS MOUTH. In retrospect, I should have just held out my hand and told him to spit it out (both of us have developed a horrifically blasé attitude to spit and other bodily fluids curtesy of hostel living), but when somebody eats your change the only thing that you're really capable of doing is staring with your mouth hanging open.

We spent most of the time at the park sitting on a bench saying "I can't believe that bergie ate our change!" Anyone tries to eat our change again should be very afraid. We are prepared. We WILL go coloured on the poor schmucks ass. Let me at him.

Being poor backpackers, we decided there was no point in paying for accommodation if we needed to be at the airport at 5am. Circling the airport's innards a few times, we eventually found a "comfortable" McDonalds booth (only vaguely smelling like cheese) at the closed food court. Other travelers had already claimed all the other benches and were snoring and snuffling under the bright strip lighting. We took out our travel pillows and joined this odd makeshift sleeping hoard.

And that is the story of how Claudia and Raphaela traveled to the fashion and shopping capital of the world to have their change stolen and eaten and to sleep outside a McDonalds.

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Tungsten on

Milan Beggars are the best in their class!

Dudley on

I suggest you don't give our beggars that idea. Keep your mouth shut!

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