Saturday, February 07, 2004

The COOP (by Sarah)

SIENA (#20)

So, today was the big day for none other than grocery shopping! We walked all the way to the Giallombardo’s house (30 minutes with a 10 minute stop for hot chocolate and coffee). We got to their house and then piled into their car so they could take us to our car, which was parked in a free lot. Giulia came in our car with us, and my mom went with Laura. For our shopping, we went to the Coop (pronounced ‘cop’).

I’ve decided that Italians have the coolest inventions. At the Coop, the carts are all attached to each other by chains. To get one, you have to put a euro into a slot, and the chain releases. When you put the cart back, and attach it to another cart in the line, you get the euro back! Also at the Coop, they had a sort of ramp with little grooves that moved like an escalator. The carts have these thin lines on the wheels that fit perfectly into the grooves. So, when going up or down the escalator, the wheels won’t move, no matter how heavy the cart is, so it can’t roll down! Another wicked cool thing at the Coop is the hand held scanner. Instead of the cashier scanning everything you buy, you do it yourself as you pick things up, so when you go to the cashier, it doesn’t take as long!

When we mentioned the high technology of Italy, Angelo responded with something like, “Well, we are descendents of Leonardo DaVinci…”

Meanwhile, Alex spent most of his time devising ways that these inventions could backfire. He wanted to attach our cart to another cart while that person wasn’t watching, and then get the euro back, and leave the cart attached to the other one. He also wanted to use the scanner and just not scan everything, so some stuff you get for free. There were many other neat inventions at the store, and Alex found ways to cheat at most of them.

We went to the Coop on a Saturday, which is probably the worst day to go. It was insanely crowded. But it was an experience. On our way out, we also got a cell phone. We are finally connected to the rest of the world again! What a concept!

After the Coop, we went back to the Giallombardos house. We had lunch there and watched the movie “Spirit” with Giulia. It was evening already when we realized we had to unload our groceries. We went to the Police Station to get permission again to go next to the Duomo so we could carry our groceries up. The police weren’t open, so we went to the Duccis to use Antonio’s car (handicapped). While we were there, I spent my time with Giulia and Carla. Giulia shared a chocolate egg with me, and then we watched as Carla made another torta, this time with ham, spinach, and pasta.

We finally got the car and drove down to our apartment. There was a couple that were being flirtatious and sitting on the steps of the Duomo. No one knew who they were, but nonetheless, Giulia wasted no time in getting in their faces, breaking them up, and “busting their balls” (“rompere le scatole”). The rest of us brought the groceries in while she sat next to the couple.

Alex and Angelo were already in the apartment when we got there (they had taken the Vespa motorcycle). Giulia used the computer with Alex and I, and dad and Angelo went out to get some pizza. We ate dinner and then they left and we went to bed.


2004-02-25 22:20:40 stefano
Re: The COOP
I can't resist the urge to comment on the creative mind of Alex, not at all unlike his namesake, Grandpa (Nonno) Allie.  Anyone for a game of cards?"

2004-02-26 17:41:29 alex
Re: The COOP
You forgot about the scale thing, that prints out a sticker with a bar code and all. You could put something light there and put the sticker on a heavy item! Bwahahahhhhahahahah.

Love Ya,


2004-02-26 17:42:21 alex
Re: The COOP
Wow, this kid is so amazingly smart!"

2004-02-27 05:57:58 stefano
Full Disclosure
For those newbies (new users) of news forums like this one, it is important to understand that the reader comments are not the work of the author...  and that the identity of the author should be carefully considered when interpreting stories, journal entries, or comments on stories.

Alex, have you considered the possibilities of a fake identity so that you can comment anonymously on your own work?  Benjamin Franklin (aka "Poor Richard") used this device successfully long before the Internet when "spoofing" had a slightly different connotation.

2004-02-29 15:07:35 Roz
Re: The COOP
Hi Guys!   I'm happy to report that (apparently) the descendants of DaVinci have created the same weight and sticker gizmo for the U.S.  Right now I have only experienced it at Wegman's a family chain of wonderful supermarkets, mostly in upper New York State, BUT trickling down to Virginia this month!    As I recall, tho, the produce here just doesn't have the color, beauty or taste of  its counterparts in Italia.

So, Alex:  are you going to work for the FBI, CIA or the Mafia?  That's a sinister mind at work, I'd say!

2004-04-04 21:04:0220 BubbieBarbi
Re: The COOP
It must be a genetic thing. Carrie always spotted all the ways the patrons in her restaurants could steal & cheat, too.  It doesn't come from me!  I still leave my purse on top of the lettuce while making a selection......   Bubbie BB

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