Thursday, November 6, 2014

Whaddya mean, I can't buy wine today?

This morning we got up and over breakfast (which thankfully we never have to make a decision about, it's always the same) we got to talking about lunch. We decided to make chicken noodle soup so I made my grocery list and headed off in the pouring rain for the store.

I wandered through the produce section picking up a variety of veggies for the soup, then headed around the corner for the dairy and sale wine section.

GASP!! For some as yet unknown reason there was caution tape crisscrossing the section of shelving that had the sale wines on it. I stared in frustration at a note (in Italian naturally, which increased the time it took to read it from 10 seconds to 5 minutes) stating that the city of Florence had decreed that today only they were unable to sell drinks (read alcoholic drinks) in glass or cans. Store employees avoided looking directly at me as I tried to process this tragic unexpected information. Already at 8:30 in the morning they must have had  to explain the logic of this city decision with mixed results....or perhaps not so mixed. Outrage. Frustration. But never acceptance. No....never.

Thinking that perhaps I misread the note (happens frequently) I rushed walked calmly to the real wine/beer/serious alcohol/salty snacks (cuz what's happy hour without snacks?) section where I found the same tape and notes. By the way, this is an entire aisle (both sides). I stood at the beginning of the aisle, speechless. Red and white tape stretched the length of the aisle, from top to bottom, occasionally punctuated by a bright white sheet of paper clearly stating that the city wouldn't allow them to sell drinks in glass or cans today.

I stood there, possibly with my mouth hanging open as I tried to understand at the unGodly hour of 8:30 am just why the city of Florence didn't want me to have wine. What had I done wrong? Better did they even know I'd done anything wrong enough to have my wine privileges removed? (Because of course the world revolves around me, right?)

Then I remembered that there is a concert tonight at the stadium. Which shouldn't matter but apparently does. So on the way home (it's a 20 minute walk) I tried to figure out what exactly the city of Florence thought they were preventing when they stopped sale of wine at 8:30 in the morning?

Did they think everyone with a ticket to the concert woke up this morning and thought "Holy cow! The concert is today! I better get out there and buy something to sneak into the concert!" like they haven't been thinking about this day for weeks....even an Italian plans ahead  when it comes to alcohol.

Then I started to wonder why exactly they specified "glass or cans". Could I have brought in a goat skin to have filled up? If I bought a bottle and and emptied it into a massive American insulated "go cup" leaving the bottle at the store would that fulfill the letter of this insane law? Only later (sadly, much later, and Leif had to explain it) I realized that they do sell wine in boxes, sort of adult juice boxes. Not good wine. Not the wine I wanted, which is slightly bubbly, not too sweet not too dry and perfect for chicken noodle soup. But apparently the non-breakable, semi-biodegradable properties of the Tetrapak make it easier to pick up than glass or cans. I sort of get that. No, on second thought, I don't get it.

All anyone has to do is walk across the train tracks to buy drinks in any kind of container they please. Which I didn't because I have an attitude problem and discovered that the spumanti we already had in the fridge was a more than adequate substitute for the wine I wanted to buy. So I got wine with my lunch and no one had to die. Win-win.