By Zaid Taji Farouki

Tag: Milan

The Big Grey Cat

For the past two days I have seen Washington DC go all crazy, with the government shutting down, to a shooter at Capitol Hill. I hope everyone that works at the Capitol and all surrounding areas are safe and sound. And I seriously hope everyone I know in DC watches out as to whats happening in the city and stays safe.

So as some may know today was my day off from university. I woke up at 7:30 (of course you wake up really early when you don’t have to) anyways I stayed in bed till 12. Then I decided to go out for a 45 minute run. The weather is a bit chilly, but It was the right amount of cold, when you can feel the cool breeze hitting your face as you run. During my run I wanted to get lost in my area, as that’s the only way to learn the streets and find new intriguing places. I came across a large market that spans a few blocks, a park, and I also found a few electronics and home supply stores that I may need in the future. After getting home and showering, as I left my apartment for the second time, I saw the “infamous” cat, you know the one that lives with my neighbor that doesn’t smoke using her hands.. Well that cat was waiting for me next to my apartment door and it was staring right at me with its big green eyes. It was like it was trying to look into my soul, and whenever I moved my head right or left it did the same exact thing. And then I saw its owner coming out of her apartment door. Of course you see her cigarette exiting the door before her, trying to light it. I politely said “bonjourno” and fled to the elevator.

Later on I went with a friend to an art supply store and sat on a cafe and started sketching for one of my classes. You can see in the photos below pictures of the park I ran in and some of my sketches that I have which are not that great, but I had to show you what I am working on. We had to draw designs from magazines as practice so we can be able to draw our own designs in the future.

So here I am in bed, about to go to sleep because tomorrow is going to be a loooong day. Classes start at 8:30 am.. So I better get a good night’s sleep. I hope you enjoy the pictures and the sketches of course.

Ps. Click on the pictures to enlarge them.

A Day With Me, Myself and I

Today has been an interesting day. I woke up at 9 am then went back to sleep but at around 1 o’clock i woke up dreaming about food. I realized that because my windows were open the smell of my neighbor’s cooking had entered my apartment and it smelt so good. Afterwards I showered and got dressed and went out in search for a trash can to put in my bedroom/sitting-room as well as a side lamp. After visiting a few stores and not find anything, I decided to have lunch. While I was looking for restaurants, they were either closed, or full because it was Sunday. Walking around I passed by the Four Seasons, so I decided to go in and have lunch there (you can see the photo below). After filling up my belly “Kirsh” I decided to continue looking for a side lamp. I went two department stores Excelsior and La Rinascente.

On a side note am I the only person that their eyes water up when they see beautiful clothing? I was just wondering, am I the only one weird like that? Anyways I saw way to many god looking clothing articles that I may have felt like I was in my own Disney land. Well I may have fallen in love with a few things in the store. At first I saw these amazing camouflage shoes by Valentino and formal sneakers by Hogan. I later saw two sweaters by Kenzo. One of them I didn’t really like, but what grabbed my attention was how products are specifically tailored to the Middle – Eastern market. I must admit its a creative twist, but after thinking of it for a while, the sweater might look like a parody. An example of these parodies have come up in the past two years with t-shirts instead of saying Hermés it says “Homies”. Or Comme des Garçon which they turned into Comme des f**kdown.

Well anyways here are a few photos of the things I loved and came across today. I will update you with what happens with me tomorrow with my first day at Istituto Marangoni.

Ps. Click on the images to enlarge them.

Pictures were taken from Keno, Hogan, and Valentino.

Viale Premuda

So today I blog for the first time from my apartment, sitting here alone as my mom left back to Jordan today. Before writing anything I would like to take a moment and thank her for all the help she gave me while she was here. Running from one side of the city to another to get to appointments and also dealing with (arguably) my “pickiness”.
So today starts a new chapter in my life. So far I have met a few of my neighbors, some are mysterious as they don’t speak a word of english and just look out of their windows and smoke. I was telling my mother that I feel like I am living in Egypt, but Egypt at the time of my grandparents or parents. When you open your windows you can see into other peoples apartments. You can talk to your neighbors across your windows. I don’t think it gets more Italian than this. While looking for apartments, we saw an advertisement for a one bedroom apartment on the 6th floor, but with a twist of fate people who viewed the apartment before us decided they wanted that apartment. It turns out that its a Turkish girl that will be attending Istituto Marangoni with me. So with that apartment taken, the landlord was so apologetic that she helped me find another apartment. Hence the apartment I currently live in, a few floors below. So it’s great as I finally know a nice person that will be going to the same school as me and we are neighbors. So hopefully I wouldn’t be singing “I am Mr lonely, I have no body I am on my own” anytime soon. THANK THE LORD..
So the first neighbor I met while I was moving in was an old lady that lives with a big fat grey cat, that smokes all the time outside her apartment, she is so experienced with smoking that she talks and smokes without holding the cigarette. Today she kind of scared me as she was sitting between the flowers and I didn’t see her when I walked onto my floor. The second neighbor is another old lady that also smokes, she lives two floors above me but this lady is different she loves looking out at the entire building while she smokes. There is an old man that also lives on my floor and he probably has the largest apartment in the building, how did I know? His front door was open the other day. Then on the same floor as mine there lives a young man, as well as a woman in her late 20’s early 30’s. There also lives on the 6th floor a basketball player with his model girlfriend.
So now that you know of my neighbors and the picture of my apartment building, now you can imagine my living situation. I can’t deny it I love it.. Although my parents are having the time of their lives making fun of me as they remember the times in Egypt by telling me to close the shutters by saying “Shangal il sheesh” or because there aren’t any driers we have to hang our clothes out to dry. they keep telling me “imsa7 il 7abl 2abl ma t3ala2 il hidoum” (wipe the hanging clothing line before putting anything on it).
So orientation starts after tomorrow and I am waiting to see how it turns out. Lets hope my classes are project runway style, and we will be starting our first challenge.


Ok, I know that I haven’t blogged in a while and thats totally against my birthday resolution! Anyways so it has been such a long week in Milan. We arrived last Sunday, starting from Monday morning we went to view apartments with a realtor I have contacted before arriving to Milan. Anyways remember how Cinderella’s room looked like? Well this one is something like it but you actually have to pay for it, it isn’t for free. And if cinderrella was based in Milan I don’t think she could have afforded her room at €1500 a month, with 2 months deposit and 2 months paid to the realtor for finding you the “apartment”. Well 15 apartments later, 4 realtors, and help from family friends. TODAY I finally found an apartment!!!!! And then in my head I started singing “Oh, hale, hallelujah Hale, hallelujah Hale” I have reached new levels of frustration over the past few days. But bump into my cousin who was in town for one day and planning a rendez-vous the next day was the highlight of the week. It was great seeing her and catching up with her! It has been such a longtime since we last met.

Milan has been great so far. But there is something that has been on my mind. Where the f$#% do they get the height from? Ok if your a man or woman below 6 feet your considered short. Is it because of fashion week or what I don’t know. But I would love to know where they you can but this s*^t because I am planning to hit that store and spend my life’s saving in it.

Well anyways I will leave you to the photos below and the new italian words I learnt along the way. one of the pictures is of my apartment building.

Allora,Grazie, Affittasi (for rent), Vendesi (for sale), piano (floor), and Pronto! (A must when answering the phone).


My Thoughts

You probably won’t believe how much Amman has taken a toll on me recently. The wait of moving between two countries is mentally draining. Whenever I am here the culture allows me to second guess myself of whether I am taking the right steps in my life. Or I should take the familiar road or do I seriously have unrealistic dreams. These thoughts go through my mind every single day nevertheless, lets hope for the best and see how things will turn out to be.

As I sit here and write this I am currently planning on starting a new painting project. It’s probably the only thing that would get my mind off of things. I thought of using 3 different canvases of different sizes. The largest canvas is going to be of a blue eye that weeps and the tears are made of melted crayons. The second canvas is much smaller and it will only have an eye with no other significance attached to it. The third canvas is going to be of a mouth I imagine the lips being made out of an electric orange-red.

Lets see what happens and how everything turns out to be.