Travel is a wonderful thing, but some times we all face some trouble. I thought that due to Halloween I should share my moving abroad horror story. This will be a long post but I really hope you enjoy the stories.
How the moving abroad horror story started:
It all started when I was 18 and planning my moving abroad to study in Milan. My parents were in a financial crisis and, paying one of the highly priced student residences was not an option. I managed to find a temporary room online in a student apartment until I was able to find something permanent. I arrived in Milan but I never thought that a moving abroad horror story was about to start…
My first Home
When I was looking for a room, I never checked the safety of the neighborhood where I was moving. I took a taxi from the airport to my new shared apartment. When we arrived the taxi driver looked at me astonished and told me if I had given him the right address. I looked at the paper and in fact that was the place. He just told me: “go check the apartment and I will wait, this is not a great neighborhood”. I went out and rang into the apartment a few times, but no one answered. Next to the building there was a Peruvian store, the owner let me phone some of my new roommates, but no one picked up the phone. She told me that I can wait there a little longer, so I told the cab driver to go. I remembered I had a distant uncle from my dad’s Italian family, so I called him to see if he can help me somehow. Hi just said: Don’t’ worry, someone will show up and good luck with your studies. I got scared, my roommates didn’t show up, my distant uncle didn’t care and there was no sign of a hotel near by. Around midnight I finally received a call from one of my roommates. She picked me up from the store I was able to rest after that long trip.
Getting Sick for the first time abroad.
Only 3 days have passed since I arrived in Milan and to add up to my bad luck, I got sick. It was Ferragosto – an Italian holiday, where the majority of the people leave Milan and go somewhere else-, including all my roommates. I thought I got a pretty bad flu, however my symptoms started to get worse. My whole body hurt, I had a really bad ear pain, my throat was so sore that I couldn’t even drink water. I decided to call my insurance company and ask for assistance. They told me that due to Ferragosto most hospitals near by were closed. My only option was to go to a hospital called Fatebenefratelli which was about 1 hour from my apartment. I spent all that day at the hospital, the doctors performed several analysis and by night they told me what I got. My Italian wasn’t very good at that time so I never understood why they couldn’t give me some antibiotics or what did I actually had. They sent me home with a large doses of paracetamol and a week later I was healthy again and ready to start with university.
My roommate almost killed me!
I managed to find a new apartment in a better neighborhood and near my university. It was a two-bedroom apartment with two double rooms. In one room there were two Italian girls and in the other there was me and a place for someone else. Since my schedule was full, my other two flat-mates interviewed some people for my room. The two options were:
- Italian girl who did not studied and had no job
- Girl from country X (I wont share the name of the country since I don’t believe in labeling people from where they come from) who studied medicine
The final choice was mine, but my flat-mates preferred the Italian girl since according to them people from country X where not trustful. I told them not to be racist and that I preferred to have an other student since we will share a similar routine.
Everything started very well, my new roommate was nice, a little messy but nothing to worry about. A few months later she found a boyfriend, the problem was that she had never met this guy in person. This “relationship” lasted for a few months until one day in a skype call, he told her that he had cheated on her. That wasn’t a surprise for me, specially since they have never met in person.
From that day she started to change, some times we will wake up at the sound of broken glasses and plates in the kitchen or some times, I will wake up to the crazy jealousy and furious screams when she talked to him on the phone. Her messiness and sloppiness got worse, our room was mess, I felt tired all the time and it was impossible to talk to her. I tend to be a patient person but the whole situation went to far. One day I completely lost my patience and I started to shout at her, I told her that she was a mess, that I couldn’t live like that anymore, that she had not respect for us etc. She grabbed a pair of scissors and put them on my neck then she said: Do you have something else to add? At that point the landlords and also our neighbors entered the apartment due to all the screams and when she saw them she dropped the scissors to the ground. The landlords were really supportive with the whole situation, they told me to go to the police and if I wanted I could stay at their apartment. The funny thing of this story is that when I went to the police, the policeman just laughed at me and told me that he tends to do the same to his wife when he gets mad.
Some strangers are just great people – I mean it!
Before my crazy story with my roommate, I thought that moving abroad away from my parents was a great opportunity to do more crazy things. Of course I was young and stupid. It was like a dream to me: great parties, getting drunk with out having to listen to my parents the next day etc. One night I went to a party, I got drunk and I thought that people there were the same as my old high-school friends and that they will make sure I get home safe. Well, that did not happen and soon I found myself drunk and wondering around the streets in Milan. I managed to find the station of the tram and sat somewhere near to wait for it. Suddenly a guy just approached me and asked if I was ok, I told him that I was not ok and I was having some trouble to getting home. Somewhere in the conversation he told me he studied in the same university I did and for some reason that made me trust him. (This was probably a really bad idea). The tram came and he got in with me, then he accompanied me home, make sure I got into my apartment and then he left. He just wanted to make sure that I got home ok. Years passed but I never saw this guy again, even if we went to the same university.
My friend Disappeared!
After the whole situation with my crazy roommate, I moved for two months with a friend- let’s call her Anna. I stayed with Anna for about 2 months until I was able to finish my exams and find a new place. I finally found my new apartment, it was in a really nice neighborhood, the apartment was huge, and my new roommates seemed very nice. The thing that I loved the most is that my new roommates were from allover the world, there was someone from Taiwan, some Italians, a Russian and well me an Ecuadorian girl. After just two weeks in my new place, I received a call from the police. They asked if I knew Anna and if I knew where she lived, apparently she had disappeared a week ago and her parents couldn’t find her anywhere. I was really preoccupied, and thought things like: what could have happened to her? and why I never found the time to call her after I moved into my new place? Of course I was supper busy but that was not an excuse. I told the police where Anna lived and asked if I can come along. They told me that that wasn’t necessary but they will let me know if they get more information. Later that day I received a call to tell me that they found Anna. Apparently something really bad happened to her and they found her in really bad shape in her apartment. Her parents took her home to take care of her. Nowadays she is ok and recently got married .
Lessons Learned from my moving abroad horror story
All these stories have shaped me into the person I am today and if I were to go back I will probably do the same mainly because I have learned a lot of things.
- If You are moving abroad to some where you don’t know take the time to look at the neighborhood where you are staying and always have a health insurance
- Try to not get sick during ferragosto in Italy – I’m Joking 🙂
- Do not discriminate: I choose the girl from country X with the idea that I was not being racist but I was discriminating someone else due to her job/studies background and her being lost at what to do next in life. (after a few years this happened to me I was lost in what I wanted to do with my life and spend almost 2 years figuring it out and the worse thing is that I’m sure I haven’t figured it out yet)
- Don’t be reckless or too trustworthy: I was young and stupid. I never thought of the consequences of drinking to much and party too much, thankfully nothing ever happened to me but it could have had.
- Treasure your friends: We all are busy and some times catching up with friends looks impossible. But sometimes a text its all it takes with the question how are you? That doesn’t even take a minute.
Here are some photos of my last Milan Roommates. Well I spend my last years in Milan with them and we became great friends even if now we are spread all over the world. The first photo is of us back when we lived together in Milan, and the second was took 5 years later.