I had a successful meeting with my friend Gabri. We hashed a potential business venture with his friend Dario who owns a mini-bike business in Torino. The rest of the time we just checked out the show.
Of course, Michael Czysz was there. Michael and JM were tight so it is always good to see him.
My hotel wasn’t too far from the Metro, which went right to the exhibition center. When I wasn’t at the show or with anyone else, I walked around Milan. The weather had been rainy, so all the scooters had these little rain skirts for the riders. I mean every single scooter had one of these things on. You don’t see these in Spain. People just get wet.
After the first two days of the show, everyone I knew would be leaving. Either home, to other countries, or to Bologna for meetings at the Ducati factory. But evidently, there was some three week break for the factory, so there were only meetings happening there that I had no reason to attend.
I had been thinking of John-Mark a lot on this little trip. He had been to the EICMA show before with Aprilia and talked about Milan and the Duomo fondly. While walking around Thursday, contemplating heading to Bologna, I came across this Breil necklace in a window:
The star within the star was sort of symbolic of the both of us since the two of us made up the team. Every year for my birthday JM bought me jewelry featuring a star or stars. I have been looking for an appropriate piece of jewelry to buy for me as a favor to JM. Now that he is gone, the heart within a star felt appropriately symbolic, and finding it in Italy on my way to the Duomo was perfect.
The symbolic little story doesn’t end here. Without getting to far into it, the Duomo had really impressed JM. Niether of us were in any way religious, in fact JM had recently felt a huge freedom in embracing atheism. So it was ironic that in that big church I felt so emotional for JM the second I walked in there. I lit a candle in his remembrance (in front of an icon of Jesus-it was either that or Maria and the baby Jesus), told him I missed him and thanks for the humor of the whole thing happening in a Catholic church.
By this point, the head cold that began two days before was wearing me down and I decided to go back to Barcelona. Unfortunately, when you show up at the airport with cash in hand, the Italians dont want to take your money for a ticket. They told me my flight must be purchased over the phone or online. The company the tickets were processed through on the phone told me that US credit cards frequently get rejected for no reason. This is, of course, what happend to me. I tried for two hours to buy a ticket on the phone, online and in person and could not get one purchased. The flight left at 10pm, and I watched people board my flight and go home.
I had a dinner of chocolate and wine, and cosied up for the night for the 6:45am flight (which somehow I could buy). Seriously, the bars in the airport closed at midnight. There were a LOT of people stuck in the airport all night. You’d think this would be indicative that it is a problem to not sell airline tickets to potential passengers.
Lesson learned. The trip was still worth it.