Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Sciopero!! (Strike!!)

Well, well, well. I could quite likely get a taste of a long-standing Italian tradition after all. But this is not a case of striking postal workers or garbage collectors or bus drivers. Oh no. Milan's MODELS and other fashion professionals staged a three-hour strike today over the issue of foreign competition - specifically, American companies which set up shop in Milan just before big runway events, siphon off the work, then close shop and then vanish. They're also unhappy with the shadowy agencies which lure girls into what they think is a modeling job, except it turns out to be quite something else.

No pickets signs and sandwich boards in this protest. Agenzia Giornalistica Italia reports the models will cross their legs for three hours.

I'm tickled by that image, but I'm not sure why. The models have arranged for further work stoppages if they don't get satisfaction. Since I arrive Friday night, they could well be in the second day of leg-crossing protest.

How do you say "charley horse" in Italian?

As I was packing my bags this afternoon, making sure the ice pick and machete were removed from the hidden compartments, the subject of airport security came to mind. Wouldn't it be a gas to see this posted all over the terminal?


TSA could approach the American Psychological Association about sponsoring those signs.

I'm using a laptop from work for the first time this evening, trying to familiarize myself with its workings before taking off tomorrow. It's so light, the power supply and adapter together with the microphone and other accessories weigh almost twice as much as the whole laptop!

I'm trying to pack lightly, while keeping in mind that in Italy it's practically mandatory to dress smartly at all times, even in the most casual settings. As added incentive to keep it to the minimum, I remind myself that Venice doesn't really have streets, so it's quite likely I'll have to haul my own suitcase off the boat and over cobbled streets to the hotel.

My three-leg flight departs Thursday afternoon from Pullman for Seattle, then to Copenhagen, and finally for Milan. With the nine hour time difference, I should be at Malpensa on Friday night.