Thursday, February 12, 2009
Today, I am writing from the gommista (tire store) where I am buying 2 new front tires for the z4. I was finally, after 14 months, able to insure the car through my bank. If you can imagine a comprehensive policy in Italy costs about 2.5 times what we pay in the USA. I am paying about the same as my policy back home just for the basic, required by italian law, liability policy….ouch. The tires, as with many things here, like cell phones and computers, cost the same in euros here as they do in dollars back home, so I pay an additional 30% vs back home.
Yesterday was one of those days where you have to think it would have been better to stay in bed or otherwise just laugh afterwards. I started out in the vineyard, pruning and tying up our 1yo vines. Afterwards, our sage neighbor said it was a terrible idea to tie them up the 1st year as they get strangled by the cord during their fast growth stage. We will have to hash this out better with our agronomist before continuing.
Finishing up before lunch, we ate at La Fonte with our host Massimiliano serving us homemeade pasta. During lunch, the hail started. We then drove to the post office to pay the electric bill, but it was closed because all of Offida had lost power for work on the power plant. I climbed back into the wonderful Fiat Doblo’ and tried to leave, but the stickshift was completely broken. It moved freely without engaging anything and luckily Raffaele knew where to look to ascertain the problem. The "pot metal" which affixed the stick shift to the clutch below was broken. By holding the 2 pieces together, I was able to shift just well enough to get home. Later, at the Fiat dealership (who naturally said, "we have NEVER seen THIS happen before"), recounted the part would have to be shipped from Torino, wonderful home of Fiat or alternatively we could weld it back together. Luckily, Raffaele’s family business employs a welder who made everything better than before, but not before igniting the plastic housing of the stickshift for a minute.
On the way back to Nascondiglio di Bacco, the local police pulled me over for a routine check and my international license was in Raffaele’s car as I emptied out the F.ix i.t a.gain t.ony thinking we would have to leave it at the shop. No harm done as the Caribinieri actually knew everything about me, the B&B and all other things local. It didn’t hurt that Raffa brought back my license. Just remember, this is the company bringing its cars into the United States in a while and who bought a piece of Chrysler. As the italians say when you tell them your Fiat is broken: “E’ normale”.
From then on the day ended rather peacefully with roast chicken and a rosso di montalcino from Biondi Santi for supper.
I woke this morning to the 1st snow I have seen at Nascondiglio.
The pictures are taken around the place just after l’alba (the dawn)
Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone!
Posted by Dwight at 1:44 PM