Sunday, November 30, 2008

Come On Baby, Light My Fire

So our oven/stove/candle lighter ran out of fuel. And being good environmental citizens (except when it comes to wasting bathwater on account of our meager shower), we thought we’d try to refill it, instead of sending yet another piece of plastic to the dump. 

Earlier in the week, Trofie Wife made an excursion into the town centro in order to purchase a new one (for backup) and inquire as to how to refill the original. The friendly folks in the electronics shop explained the difference between the ones that run on fuel and those that run on some sort of rechargeable crystals (magic!). Deciding that she didn’t want to bother with lighter fuel if she didn’t have to, Trofie Wife went for the rechargeable crystal one, spending just 2 euro more and hopefully saving even more than that in trouble. Well, upon arriving home and attempting to cook dinner in the oven that evening, Trofie Wife and Martello discovered that the crystal one doesn’t work on the oven or open-air candles (it has to connect in a special way with the lighter thing on the side of each burner). 

So, yesterday, Trofie Wife took not one but two “boy do I feel stupid” trips to local stores. Having studied the term for “lighter,” I went to the local tabacchi as instructed in order to purchase a lighter fluid refill. Except that I pronounced the term incorrectly, emphasized the need for gas but not lighter fluid, and ended up leaving with extra-long matches (which I will never use, given my abject fear of lighting them). I was thinking of bringing (and should have brought) my present lighter with me, but at the last instant, I chickened out, afraid that it would burst into flames inside my purse with whatever little fuel was left). On my way to my next errand, I ended up passing the gas store, where seated inside was the same guy who filled our propane tank when we first moved in. My arrival commenced yet another frustrating encounter (interestingly, his English would only appear when he was totally exasperated). I ended up leaving with another charger that can be refilled with lighter fluid—of course, at the tabacchi. Luckily, on my way to the wine shop, I discovered another tabacchi, where I will go with the lighter’s box whenever we need more fluid, circumventing my need to interact with the lady who gave me matches.

I also noticed on this walk that it may have snowed here as a number of parked cars have snow on their roofs (upon arriving home, Martello confirms that, in fact, snow did hit the higher elevations). For our weekend pleasure, I stopped into the wine shop (my first time in there as we usually just pick up vino at the grocery store) for a bottle of Cantina Tramin Alto Adige Sauvignon (just raved about on; thanks for getting me onto that listserv, Moshe). A quick Google search revealed that it’s retailing for $18.95 at, but Trofie Wife scored it for under 9 euro! We will surely miss the wine bargains when we depart. (Tasting notes: we tried the wine with our antipasta dinner (with Trofie Wife working on that same glass for another two hours after dinner) and both agreed that it was fabulous and not at all overrated.)

Baci e gelato,

Martello e Trofie Wife 

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