Buying Gas in Italy


It’s always an adventure.  No two gas stations are the same in terms of how to pay, how the pump works, or even how to get the gas tank open.  Telma, remember the time we couldn’t figure out how to open the door on the tank, crawled all over the inside of the car trying to figure it out, asked a cute passer-by, and then discovered that all you had to do was press on the door and it popped open!

Today was one of those experiences.  There’s no gas in Montemerano, so we had to drive to Manciano, 5 km away.  We found the station, drove in between two cones in the entryway, and then discovered that the station was closed for refueling.  The gas refueling guy indicated that there was another gas station in town.

That’s when the fun started.

We drove toward town and unsure of which way to go, pulled over to ask a gentleman wearing a yellow shirt.  Oh, what drama and fun!  He quickly realized we were “stranieri” (foreigners) and with wild and repeated gestures told us how to get up the hill to another gas station after we told him the one he recommended was closed.  Oh, then he had to repeat the hand gestures, the assurances that we would find gas up the hill, and then another younger guy came along, at which time the yellow shirt guy (also wearing a hearing aide) repeated the entire saga and they determined they would have to direct traffic for Don to turn around and head up the hill.  All the while Don was pestering me with “What are they saying?” And it was all I could do to keep a straight face, help Don so that he wouldn’t run over a woman pushing a baby stroller, and get going in the right direction.

Up the hill not more than 100 yards was the gas station.  

A sweet young thing filled our tank, washed our windshield, and discussed the fact that she could tell we were Americans by the shape of our faces and oh, how she would love to come to New York.

With a full tank and a smile, we drove on to Capalbio, our destination.  Stay tuned. . .  .

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