First Impressions and simple thoughts

Hello everyone, I am Beatrice, and I am from Italy. More precisely, from Cernusco sul Naviglio, a city next to Milan.

Cernusco has about 35,000 inhabitants, so it is not so big. The fact that it is in the metropolitan area of Milan makes it really connected and well served. This is also why when my friends and I are away, we say that we come from Milan. Because we feel Milanese in some way, and most of us also go to high school and university there. We are extremely near to Milan, like twenty minutes by car and fifteen by metro.

The point is that all the young people I have already met in my first days in Prilep have said to me that here there is not an interesting nightlife or something really exiting to do. It was like the fact that I come from Italy makes me automatically a person with a great and exiting social life.

Now, I would like to downsize this idea. Not because it is wrong, but it is also not totally right.

In my city, people grow in a small and healthy environment, where almost everyone knows each other. As a child, you have a lot of places to go, like parks and play areas. As in every city in the world, also in Cernusco there are some neighbourhoods and areas where life is more difficult, and people are poorer and live in different conditions. But in general, it is a rich city where I grew up safely and happily, with all the things I needed. And it is the same for most people in my city. In the last years Cernusco has grown more and a lot of new families are settling in Cernusco to build a new, safe, and peaceful life.

In this context of well-being also the nightlife has became more interesting. But it is still a small city with just a few bars, some nightclubs, and places where to go to take a beer or drink whatever you want. So, a lot of people prefer to go out in the Milan city centre, where the nightlife is really exciting and offers really different types of activities, and the streets are full of people. My friends and I go out in Milan just sometimes. We started do to it more in the last years because now we all have the drive license and a car to use. But going out in Milan has also some difficulties: It is more expensive; we have to organize how to move and decide where to go; if you want to go more in the centre of Milan it’s really difficult to go by car, and if you go by metro you can’t come back home whenever you want. So, actually, we continue to hang out in Cernusco or in some bar in Milan but not in the real downtown. Just occasionally, we try to go out and live the real Milanese nightlife. For all these reasons, it is more common for me and my friends to organize home parties or to meet friends at someone’s house. It is easier for us and a desirable alternative to bars or Milan, and most of all it is cheaper. However, evenings and nights at a friend’s house are a common thing for young people all around Italy, wherever you live and whoever you are.

So, here in Prilep, from this nightlife point of view, it is not like Milan but also not like Cernusco. Prilep is bigger than my city, there are more bars where you can go at night. Maybe not so much more, but certainly there are many more people in the weekend’s nights.

Yes, for me, it is a different life here, but more because it is a different culture and country, with distinct characteristics and problems than in my country. Of course, here I cannot have the same life that I could have at home, but I do not think that one of the main differences is the night and social life. That is because I come from Cernusco sul Naviglio, but it is the same in all the city in Italy that are not the big cities. Some small towns are even worst from this point of view, because there is really nothing for young people.

Perhaps, one of the main differences between Prilep and my Italian city, is that we are in the metropolitan area of Milan, so it is easy for us to move almost wherever and whenever we want, since in Cernusco there is not much to do. In almost all the north of Italy It is easy to move, because we are well-connected with an excellent road network and public transport. Here in Prilep It is maybe more complicated to go out in other cities. In addition, it is already the biggest city in the area, so you have to settle for what the city offers you (this seems to think the young people I have met so far here in Prilep). But for me, it is enough what I can find here! Yes, it is not Milan, but it depends also on what you like!

Finally, these are still my first days, and my impressions can change. I just wanted to specify how it is not so obvious that the social and nightlife here for me, a foreign, an Italian citizen and a Milanese, is boring or not interesting. So far, I am really enjoying it!

I hope to continue to meet people and know more about life in Prilep and in Macedonia. I’ m so curious and excited.

article by Beatrice Colnaghi

March 29, 2022

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