In our email correspondence leading up to this first face-to-face meeting we'd discovered a mutual love of aircraft, so our first stop was Volandia, an aviation museum attached to Malpensa. We learned a lot about the Italian manufacturer Caproni, gawped at the Bell/Agusta civilian tiltrotor, and saw this grisly reconstruction of a Second World War aircraft discovered in the desert in the 1960s during an Agip oil survey. The body of a crewmember who'd gone off in search of help was found 90km away. Ninety kilometres.
While Rick was staying in the Holiday Inn near the exhibition centre, I had picked a budget almost-hostel in the suburb of Pero. I felt rather lost and alone when I arrived in the rain and was shown to my spartan room, but then I took myself out for dinner and cheered up. (The next day, when things were properly open, it turned out I'd landed in a rather nice little neighbourhood with several excellent shops.)
Monday meant more tourism: a look round the cathedral, a browse around the shops, and lots of gazing at the omnipresent scooters and motorcycles. Here are a couple of workers repairing a mosaic floor in the shopping centre.
This was the evening I had a trifle-flavoured ice cream (zuppa Inglese) from the gelateria down the road from my hotel. They also had a blue ice cream which was labelled as Smurf flavour but, alas, the shop was closed the next night. For dinner I brought a slice of takeaway pizza back to my hotel room from a pizza-and-kebab shop. This was listed on the menu as sausage and patatine, and I was expecting little dice of cooked potato; in fact the guy serving cooked a handful of chips in the deep fat fryer and spread these across the top of my slice. This is called 'pizza Cairo', should you wish to try one for yourself.