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Well, I’m not too sure how to tackle this. It has certainly had a bit of an effect on me and left me feeling a little shocked and worried. What the heck happened? I’ll explain.

About midday on this quiet Easter Sunday, my other half, her friend and baby left the house for a quiet amble around the almost deserted streets near to where we live. I was left at home with another friend and he and I spent a few minutes trying to work out how to do something with a 360° panoramic photograph. After a while, we decided to go join the girls and baby, so we left the house and went to look for them. Actually, I phoned my other half on my mobile and asked her to tell me where they were. Having found out , my friend and I set off to meet up with them.

As we neared the street where they were we heard an ambulance with its siren blaring away. The vehicle promptly whizzed past us and stopped just about level with my better half, friend and pushchair. My pace quickened a little and I feared for an instant that something had happened to the little one. Luckily, my son was not involved. As I got closer, I noticed this person lying half on and half off the pavement between the parked cars. The person was clutching his chest and I could see no small amount of blood. Then two police cars arrived and a small crowd started to gather round to see what was up. Two guys even turned up with cameras and started shooting away, only to be told by the policemen, in no uncertain terms, to cut it out . I seem to remember one of the cops calling the photographers ‘animals’ or something similar. Anyway, the cops were not impressed.

It transpired that seconds earlier, the boy, he was only 18 or so, had run up behind my other half and shouted ‘ambulance’. When she and her friend turned and asked what the problem was, he replied ‘knife’. My wife’s friend wasted no time in calling the emergency services as requested and they both told the lad to lie down.

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We later discovered from the policeman who came round to take a statement from my wife and her friend that not one, but two eighteen year olds had been knifed. One of these youths had had his stomach cut open and was being operated on in hospital. Gruesome.

The reason for this double stabbing was not apparent, although we learnt that the victims knew their attacker. Another thing that was a little unusual about the incident was the fact that all those involved seemed to be of Chinese origin. Why is this unusual? Well, we live right in the middle of the Chinese quarter of Milan, but as a rule, the Chinese go about their business and don’t cause problems for anyone. Situations like this were, until today, non-existent. I hope this will continue to be the case.

The whole thing has changed my perspective of city life a little. I mean, I had always known than violence was a relatively common occurrence in a city, but it is not often, fortunately, that you come almost face to face with it. When you do, various questions start buzzing about your brain. Things like: What would have happened if my other half and baby had been caught right in the middle of this thing? Are cities really safe places to live in and bring up children? Should we move out to the country, where things are generally quieter? Plus a few other concerns. My wife was quite cool about the whole thing, but her friend was left in a mild state of shock. My little son was, I thank my lucky stars, completely oblivious to what was going on around him.

I’m not too sure I want to remember this particular Easter day, for obvious reasons. Talk about mean streets.

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