Day 38: To do and not do as a tourist. Pickpockets, hostels, and new friends. 

I unintentionally arrived during one of Italy’s biggest celebrations: Carnevale.

Carnevale as you know is a Christian celebration that starts before the 40 days of lent. According to legend, Milan celebrates a bit late because of their patron saint, saint patron Sant’Ambrogio was out on pilgrimage so they waited for his return. That is why they celebrate it later.


So as you can imagine, even though the city was full of rain, it didn’t stop many tourists from joining the celebration.

Lesson 1: Beware of pick pocketers

This lesson should be a common sense one right? Like that is seriously travel lesson number 1 throughout the world. If you know that, then hey, you’re safe right?

No, someday somewhere even if you’re the most careful person, it could happen to you. Yes, and it finally happened to my careless ass.

Elisa and I woke up after having breakfast waiting for the rain to die down. Around lunch time, we headed to my very first stay at a hostel. There we met an outgoing hostel receptionist named Helder, that told us to return at night for a big Carnevale party at the hostel. He reminded us to show up in costume. So Elisa and I were excited and went out to buy costumes and masks.

After we finally picked out 2 cool alien masks we took some awesome selfies. That was the last time I ever saw my favorite pink phone.

Selfie right before phone got stolen.

About 10 minutes later of shopping, Elisa left me to go home. There were so many fun things going on in Milano city. They had just finished the Carnevale parade, people dressed in costume, and tourists walking up and down the streets shopping. When I pulled out my phone, my heart sank in realization it was missing.

Of the 95% of the time I’m super careful of my things, the 5% finally happened.

I was hoping that in a some short miracle that maybe I left it at the costume shop. However, I’d have to wait and see.

Lesson 2: if you’re young and traveling, try a European hostel

Ostello Bello Hostel Medici. Milan, Italy.

This rule applies to most people who live in United States. Some Hollywood director  decided to make the horror film “Hostel” a while ago. Since then, the word hostel had a bad rep to all of us in the states.


Thanks to Elisa, I was able to have my first hostel experience. I booked 2 nights at a popular boutique hostel in Milan. I had no choice but to book a 6 bed mixed dorm room.

A while after I realized my phone was missing I went back to my hostel to get ready for the evening. Feeling depressed I was ready to run to the bathroom of my dorm to cry my eyes out.

Fortunately for me, 3 of my roommates were chatting as soon as I got into the room. Formerly fixated on the scary rep of hostels, it turned out to be a better scenario than I imagined.

Karin, was a bohemian curly red-head 60 something opera singer, painter, caregiver, writer from Germany who just recently learned couch surfing and loved to travel. Mikael was a 33 Swede with blonde hair traveling to Italy in the process of buying a house on the outskirts of Venezia. Then there was a half-Italian 22-year-old college student Charles on vacation from USA to reunite with his classmates he met the year he studied in Milan.

I also met the next night (Sunday) Beixie a friendly Chinese girl working and living in Venezia as a tour guide in Milan for work. For a brief moment I also befriended Hiroki a traveling Japanese guy who probably wanted to sleep until I asked him a bunch of questions. Hiroki was traveling from Tokyo all around Italy from Firenze to Monaco.

Hmm….. I wonder what they thought of me? 32 naive Blonde Asian American girl traveling in Europe for the first time for her birthday. Who got her phone stolen. Lol just my luck,

I really didn’t expect to meet some cool ass people as roommates. No matter the age and country, a hostel brings together like-minded people.

Those who love to travel.

I recommend staying at a hostel if you’re on a budget. Not only do you save money instead of spending at a hotel you won’t sleep in. You get to meet cool ass people from around the world with the same goal as you.

But we’ll talk more about that later.

Lesson 3: When in Italy, do as Italians do

Elisa invited me to have an Italian dinner with her and her friends.

They originally wanted hamburgers but thoughtful Elisa told them an American would be joining. Hence, I had my first authentic Italian style dining.

Elisa and I Arrived in style for our dinner. Alien masks and all.

There were 11 of us as we feasted on wine, sparkling water and authentic Italian cuisine. Did I mention Italians eat and drink a lot? I wasn’t kidding.

In Italy, they have appetizer, first dinner, second dinner, wine, dessert, maybe more side dish and spirits to end the night. I tapped out after first dinner.

It was a coincidence as I explained the situation of my stolen phone. It turned out that Elisa’s friend Anna, knew the son of the owner of the shops bought the mask from. So we took the number down in hopes that the missing phone was at the toy shop.

It was also nice to have dinner with her friends because I also met another Elisa, who was heading to Paris on my birthday to watch the Drake concert. We are hoping she is able to get extra tickets for me to join her.

Honestly, I was hella surprised at how fun this group of Italians were. They were very welcoming and made me feel a part of their group. Even if they didn’t speak to me, I swear I could listen to them speaking their native language all damn day.

I think the Italian language is so romantic. This place was simply magical.

End of night.

Elisa and I headed back to my hostel for the Carnevale party and to book my tickets for the next days trip: Venezia.

We ended the night with shots with Helder before we called it a night.

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