Milan was covered under a thick blanket of clouds and as we were about to exit the airport it started to pour heavily. Thankfully the train station which ran the shuttle between airport and city was within the airport premise and we didn't had to get in the rain. Here I got the feel of how costly Europe is gonna be, thanks mostly to our rupee conversion ratio. A 30 min shuttle from airport to city was costing per person 12 euros. My Desi brain did a quick calculation and it came to around 1000 rupees! That's what costs for traveling from Pune to Goa!
We bumped into one Khandelwal family from our same flight. They had too much luggage for the three of them to manage and we offered help. How typical desi was the thought going in my mind when it turned out that Mr Khandelwal was a resident of Italy with houses in Milan and Rome! Bulls eye! From ticket vending to reaching our hotel to must visit sites, I got all my doubt's cleared and more. As we and Mr Khandelwal were about to depart, he had hired a cab and poor me had to take a tram, he gave us an advise which would prove the most valuable for our stay in Milan; 'if you are unable to locate a ticket vendor for tram, don't bother'
It was around 2100 hrs and things were getting closed and I couldn't find a ticket vendor (honestly) so we decided to put Mr Khandelwals theory to test. But before that lay another challenge that of finding our tram stop no #27. After many failed attempts of getting a reply in English from the few bystanders there we decided to head towards the one which was pointed out by 2 out 7 people we asked. Thanking our stars we reached tram stop no 27 but it wasn't the end of it. Now we didn't know which tram to board? The one going right or the one going left? The place was desolated and no one to ask for. So we decided to board the first tram that comes along and enquire inside. Need be, we would get off at the next stop and switch ends. As we boarded the first tram on stop #27 I approached a group of girls to ask for the address. Turned out they were English and were searching for the same address as ours. But the good thing was they had been on the opposite direction without any luck. As we were awaiting for our stop to turn up we came to know the English girls were put up in the same hotel as ours. I felt relieved. Now I just had to follow them. But as luck would have it after getting down at our stop none could locate the hotel from various print outs we were carrying. I don't know whether the English girls were too embarrassed to ask any bystander or having a stiff upper lip. I gave into my Desi nature and asked the first local that came along and in next 3 min we were at the hotel.
Ramee, an Egyptian immigrant with a curly mop and broad smile greeted us at the reception and quickly showed us to our rooms. We just wanted to crash. It had been 18 hrs since we had left Pune! Swati did just that but I had one small task to be get done from Ramee before I could have the same luxury as Swati's. I had forgotten or next days train tickets to Venice and needed a print out desperately. So over smoke and my limited knowledge of Egypt I befriended Ramee and got the work done. Now I could sleep peacefully finally