15 April 2010

Trains and boats and planes

Iceland’s volcano does not stop the crowds flocking to Eurocucina, but as for getting home…

Even under normal circumstances Eurocucina is more than capable of bring chaos the road and rail networks in Milan to a standstill, to say nothing of soaking up hotel rooms more quickly than a barman’s sponge soaks up a splash of soda on a countertop.

Add to this heady mix an Icelandic volcano blowing its top and grounding domestic flights throughout Europe, and you could have had a disaster on your hands. Only, to be honest, we didn’t.

As far as the show was concerned, it was business as usual in terms of the numbers that poured into the exhibition grounds from 08:30 onwards. And even as airports throughout Europe started to tumble shut like a pushed row of dominos, the only dominos the Eurocucina crowd wanted to talk about were of the hob variety.

About mid-afternoon it became pretty obvious that getting home, if the journey involved train, hire car or plane, was not an option. Sadly for a good number of people, neither was getting a hotel room, unless they had been pretty quick off the mark.

So this year’s show is likely to be remembered as the “year we all got stranded in Milan”, rather than the year the Italian kitchen industry played it very safe.

This may be a disappointment to those whose sole reason for going to Eurocucina is to have their socks knocked off. Yes, there was stuff that was of the sock-knocking genre, but this was the most commercial Eurocucina I have ever seen.

And now all I’ve got to do is get home from it.

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