Tuesday, November 17, 2009

There's always going to be something to miss...

So, over one year on in Milan, what is it that I miss the most from the UK? This time I'm not talking about the obvious things such as family, friends and the like, but the little things from daily life back home that I used to take for granted...

Intelligent TV programmes
Le sigh. There's really no hope left for Italian tv. There are a couple of rare gems, such as (in my opinion!) La prova del cuoco and Affari tuoi - both imported formats, known in the UK as Ready, Steady, Cook and Deal or No Deal respectively; which in Italy become all-singing, all-dancing versions (literally!) - and the odd fairly-interesting game show (the Italians do love their game shows...), such as L'eredità which I started watching at uni; and my favourite Italian language soap (dubbed from the original German), Tempesta d'amore, there isn't really anything exciting about Italian TV, especially if you still have bogstandard analogue TV like I still do. To make some sweeping generalities, it's full of chat shows, dubbed programmes - many even 15+ years old, which have been repeated to death - and the veline - the half-naked showgirls... But there are a couple of things - bar my soap! - I couldn't live without, namely the two music channels, the newly-launched Deejay TV (love!) and MTV.

There are only a couple of things I follow religiously from the UK - Casualty and Holby City; but what I miss are the interesting documentaries and dramas, both of which are extremely scarce over here. It would be nice to settle down in the evening in front of the TV, knowing I'd be watching something that was actually intelligent...

24 hour openings
Not exactly an obvious choice, but it was something I took completely for granted at home, especially when I was living on campus at uni, when I'd have a 24 hour Tesco 5-10 minutes from my halls. I could go on a late-night chocolate run, or a hungover wander to get fry-up making ingredients without thinking about it. The nearest supermarket to me (Esselunga if anyone's interested, what one of my English friends here calls the Italian Sainsbury's!) is usually open 2 Sundays in the month; but as the only place I've seen the Sunday openings advertised is in the shop itself, and also as it's on a street I don't go down on a daily basis, I never really get to plan a Sunday trip in advance. Then here's the little mini-Unes up my street that doesn't open Sundays at all, and is still faithful to siesta hours. All in all, in can make even popping out for a bottle of milk difficult!!

Looking for something...?
This is from a conversation I had with an English workmate yesterday - how difficult it can be sometimes to find the easiest of things, even in Milan! The object in question yesterday was a notebook; a non-squared, nice, cheap notebook. But most notebooks in Milan are either for schoolkids or are too expensive - or a combination of the two!! Even clothes shopping can be a mission when you're looking for a specific something! I was surprised when it took me two shopping trips to find a dress to a wedding I went to last month (though admittedly, I found a dress for a party I went to last Monday in the first shop I went into!), and I've still not found a pair of boots here yet. The problem is that everything's all the same, there's just not enough variety in the clothes here - which creates a lot of problems sometimes!!

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