February 22: Jeudi Gras

MILAN, Italy

1. Sore thumb: I discovered a local pizza joint full of workers on lunch, where no one spoke any language but Italian. I stuck out, but dutifully finished all my pizza like any hungry worker would.
2. Nice couple: The family-run hotel agreed to hold my second piece of luggage while I go visit Madrid.
3. Wandering: After a sunny, café-filled afternoon, I found a beautiful old building hosting a free Australian aboriginal art exhibit, part of a clever tourism initiative.

All the children in Milan are in costume today. It's like Halloween in February. I asked the mothers in the park. It's Jeudi Gras (they celebrate Mardi Gras all week long). This may or may not explain the prevalence of confetti on the landscape.


1. I scored three seats again and a nap on my flight.
2. Alejandro and Greta patiently found me at the airport.
3. Greta and I hit the streets for a late-night celebration. Everywhere was packed, so we went to an Irish pub. You can always count on the Irish!