Saturday, November 29, 2003


Did I mention that the replacement dresser was scheduled to arrive, then cancelled? The store called the day after the bedroom furniture had been delivered, and said the new dresser would be delivered on Friday morning. Since Sig. Moretti had been on the phone with the factory within thirty minutes of discovering the damage, we weren’t totally shocked. He had said it should arrive within ten days, but three days was amazing! We got another phone call on Thursday saying that the dresser would NOT be delivered on Friday, because is wouldn’t be in until December 22nd. I’m sure she explained all the reasons why, but all I understood was the bottom line: we wouldn’t have the dresser until we returned from the States.

We did have a successful shopping day yesterday. It wasn’t until later in the day, when our credit card was taking forever to print out, that I realized it was the day after Thanksgiving, therefore the busiest shopping day of the year. We participated in the ritual, but things were slightly less hectic in Italy.

Yesterday we set out to buy a lot of odds and ends. Wendy and her friends had been at the house in the morning, moving the furniture out of the garage. We had lunch and I worked on the computer. Art called Cristina to ask her about some peppery oil. Turns out the oil she recommended is one we already have in our pantry. What we didn’t realize was that this oil was now on sale at the Coop, for an amazing price. We decided to get a 5 liter tin, and also to stop in MediaWorld. The refrigerator with the scratched door had arrived, and the scratch was so small, and was on the hinged side of the door, making it practically unnoticeable. Art was hoping that if we agreed to keep the door, and since they didn’t give us any discount on the floor model dryer, they would give us some sort of discount on something else we needed.

Art explained the problem to the girl who had helped us before...the one who spoke some English. We knew we wanted another telephone for the new kitchen, and possible a third one for the bedroom. The salesgirl took us to the phone department, and introduced us to a guy who also spoke English. After deciding which phones would work with the one we have now, the salesman went to ask his boss about a possible discount. When he returned, we were told no, it wasn’t possible…the door was being replaced by the manufacturer, so it wasn’t costing the store anything. Oh well.

We went to the IperCoop, and Art was disappointed to find that the 32” Phillips TV we had seen on Monday was no longer available. Apparently once they sold what they had, that was it. But we are seeing what we want at a price we like, so at least we know that with a little patience, we will eventually get what we want.

We also found the oil, and put three five liter jugs in the cart. When we got to the checkout, we discovered that the special price is only a one-time offer for those who belong to the Coop Society…which is sort of like having a Kroger Plus card. So, we just got one jug for now…we’ll probably pick up another one later, just because this is the new oil. We can store it in the garage, where it will be cool and dark.

Lamps seem to present a special challenge for me here in Italy. I have looked at lamps at every imaginable lamp store within an hours drive. Finding WHAT I want is the first challenge, and then finding it at a price I will pay is another. We still needed a couple of lamps, and were finally ready to make our final choices.

By the time we got to Mercatone Uno, they had just reopened for the afternoon. We didn’t find the wicker waste basket I wanted. Or the towel rack, but we did find a light for the pantry. Art saw a fixture with two lights on a mini-track, and the lights were positionable. We decided that one of the lights could be pointed all the way under the stairs, and the other could be pointed whichever way gave us the best light.

We then found a really cool floor lamp for the bedroom. It had two glass shades, one pointing up, and one pointing down. The shades are sort of flower shaped and at first Art didn’t like the lamp at all. Then I turned it on, and that made a huge difference. I liked the fact that the lamp does have just a little bit of a funky design…Italy has so many cool design ideas, and although I am very traditional in my decorating, it seems appropriate to have something a little different. I made sure we got the right light bulbs before we left the store. In addition to the price, there are two other things about Italian lamps that I don’t like. One is the switch being on the cord, not at the base of the bulb. The second is the different types of light bulbs…there are lamps that use bulbs with SMALL bases, and lamps that use bulbs with LARGE bases. Our new lamp needed a small base bulb, no larger than 40 watts, for the downward facing light, and a large base bulb for the upward facing light, no larger than 60 watts.

Next stop was the fabric store. They had some cute olive oil containers, much like we had seen at GiorGetti for 30 euro. These were 9.90. I also found a wicker basket to use as a wastebasket. I think it’s really made to put a potted plant in, but it will work for me. We found a new door mat for the front door. With all the construction, the one that’s there now is worthless. I then showed Art some fabric I had seen that I thought might work as a throw for the couch. When we bought the dark blue couch, we had agreed to the color, but asked if we could find some sort of throw to lighten it up a bit. He liked the fabric, and we got two meters. The fabric is a loose weave, and I plan to fringe the edges. I have never done this before, but how hard can it be?

We then find a fabric for the living room door that is sheerer than the one we have now. As we are leaving, I spy a scarf with a beautiful design. This is Italy; you can never have too many scarves. I’m not a scarf person, but this is a large one that I will use under my winter coat, and it can also be used as a shawl. As we are checking out, the owner smiles and says he remembers us. That would be from the curtain rod fiasco.

By the time we get to Gran Casa. It is pretty crowded. We find the floor lamp we had seen the other day. We had just seen this same lamp at Mercatone Uno for 90+ euro, but luckily I remembered that Gran Casa had it for 66 euro. The prices are just like in the states…one store is never lower on everything. We had bought shelf paper at Gran Casa for 7 euro, then I found the exact same paper at the IperCoop for 5.55.

We look at a TV, and it has been reduced from €999 to €879. I tell Art that I think the ad we just received for Euronics has the same TV for €749. He goes to the car to look at the ad, and when he returns tells me that Euronics has it for €789. By this time it has gotten much more crowded. People are stopping in on their way home, I guess. The lines are long and the one we are in is the slowest moving of all. Finally, we check out! Now we can stop by Ternana’s for dinner.

Pino suggests the chicken with peppers and black olives. Of course it’s delicious. Art has mushrooms and I have a salad. Some red wine and a bottle of water complete our dinner. Art has coffee after dinner. Italian coffee. Last night he tried it with just a little sugar, and discovered that a little sugar helps a lot. We tell Marco that our new kitchen will be finished next week, so we will be eating more meals at home. As much as I love to cook, I know we will miss being here every night…this has become our home away from home.

We both are badly in need of a gelato fix. It’s been quite a while since we have indulged, and Art justifies this by reminding me that we won‘t be able to get gelato when we are in the States. I really don’t need an excuse. Once we enter the gelateria, I am happy to see that they have banana tonight, so of course I get two flavors, the banana and chocolate. I wish there were words to describe how good it tastes!