Day Two, because my trip didn’t start out that well.
Of course I expected that everything would proceed swimmingly. I arrived at SFO well ahead of time, check-in was a breeze, and boarding went without a hitch. But then we waited. And waited…and after waiting on the runway in the plane for an hour, I asked the flight attendant what my options would be if I missed my connecting flight in Heathrow.
Now I’d like you to imagine a condescending, over-her-prime, bad highlights and fake-smiling smarmy woman hiss back to you:
“Well if we leave now, you won’t miss your flight, will you?” Her inane question was meant to end the conversation, and her Mary Poppins tone was meant to put me back in my seat rather than assuage my concerns. And yet I countered.
“Are you saying we will leave now?”
“Well let’s just wait and see what the Captain says, OK?” It was clear she was both unable to and disinterested in helping me, and so with no alternative open, I returned to my seat and obediently waited. The captain announced the luggage placement left the plane imbalanced, so they would shuffle it around, redistribute the fuel, and we’d be off in no time….
Finally, three hours after the scheduled departure, our plane left San Francisco. When Mary Poppins made eye contact with me, she blurted, “Yeah, you’re going to miss your flight, but they’ll sort it all out for you when you get there. Right, would you like some orange juice?”
14 Hours later we landed. Then waited an hour in a queue to get set up in a hotel, another hour in a queue for passport check, and another hour to get shuttled to said hotel, where we were graciously comped dinner in the hotel’s buffet that offered gooey fish pie and wilted salad. Four hours later, I woke up to catch the shuttle to our rerouted flight, but not before grabbing the comped breakfast, which included a cardboard granola bar and cheese puffs. A day and a half late, I arrived in Milan.
As an aside: if you’ve never been to Milan Central train station, you’re in for a treat. Not the busiest in terms of numbers, but arguably the most majestic. When arriving and disembarking, you can’t help but notice the steel and glass canopy as you turn around – the largest of its kind in Italy, enough for 18 tracks, and hundreds of feet long. Wander around, and you’ll find yourself awestruck at the massively high ceilings, capacious galleries, overbearing statues, and Nouveau-Roman architecture. Impressive, to say the least. So I had to take a picture. Guess who photobombed?
Patrik started lurking in forum in the early 2000s after searching online for – you guessed it – shoes. Nowadays @Leaves is a forum regular, putting together MTO’s from international shoe makers and answering obscure questions from like-minded enthusiasts on the thread for his shop, Skoaktiebolaget. Don’t ask how to pronounce it.
Finally I arrive at the StyleForum Maker Space at 3:30pm on day 2. Even before I enter the door, Fok grabs me. I protest that I have to pee.
“We gotta get to our 100 Hands appointment. Pee, then meet me outside.”
The appointment was supposed to last an hour, but one hour turned to two, then three, before making our way back to the Maker’s Space where Arianna was holding the fort.
Click here to read Part II.
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