Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Tuesday in Catanzaro (Introduction to Limoncello)

Tuesday in Catanzaro started with a continental breakfast at 07:30.

At 08:00 we were picked up by one of our Italian colleagues and taken to a customer site. I think I mentioned previously that we knew what the problem was and we were mainly there to provide warm fuzzies while we fixed it.

I was wrong. Well, I wasn’t wrong. I mean I thought I was wrong once, but I was mistaken. And boy was I mistaken!

They were having a problem that was easily reproducible at the site in Italy, but impossible to reproduce in the lab in the USA. Was it electricity? Was it a small wiring difference that we had failed to duplicate? We spent 10+ hours trying various combinations of things to find the problem. Tuesday, at the site, ended at about 19:00 with no success.

Our hotel was within walking distance to several good eateries and bars. We were tired after our 31 hour travel nightmare the day before followed quickly by 12 hours of disappointing work. We wanted to chill.

We went to an Irish bar. I know what you are thinking. An Irish bar in Italy? Are you crazy? Well, yes, I am.

The food was good. I ordered some spicy pepper ball type things that I can’t remember the name of. Our Italian colleague ordered some bread with some kind of spicy sauce spread on top. I can’t remember what my American colleague ordered. Spicy food makes the beer go down faster. We were drinking something called Kent’s Very Strong Ale or something of that nature. It was appropriately named (9% sounds right).

After we finished eating and had our second beer my Italian colleague decided it was time for some cultural experience in the form of the local liqueur. Its name is Limoncello and it’s not a name I will soon forget. It was very good.

After the Limoncello he decided it was time that we discovered the Italian version of drinkable rubbing alcohol. This is called Grappa. After this it was time for another Limoncello. My memory fades after this so what comes next was relayed to me by my colleagues. I have no way of knowing if it was true. I have some pictures that I allegedly took, but that is all.

I honestly don’t remember the name of the next shot my Italian colleague bought. He translated it, but I don’t remember the translation either. I’m hoping someone can clear it up. It was something like “no sweet for the boss” or “too weak for the boss” or “too sweet for the boss” or something like that. My American colleague swears to me it was translated to "no sweet for the boss", but for some reason that doesn't sound right to me.

I think the bartender decided we were entertaining at that point because he brought out 3 shots of some kind of chocolate liqueur that I also don’t remember the name of. I was told we had one more Limoncello for the road and then left. I should probably sue someone.

On the way back to the hotel, it is said to me, that we passed a bar that I wanted to check out. Although I don’t remember, they tell me I was adamant about wanting to stop in. It was just across the street from the hotel. My Italian colleague wisely bailed. My American colleague ignorantly entertained my mindless adamant pleadings.

I am told that I took lots of pictures and was busy telling anyone that could understand a smidgen of English about this lovely blog that you are reading now. I am told that I made lots of friends and everyone thought I was very funny. I am also told that when I dropped my beer on the floor that we mutually decided it was time to go or maybe we were encouraged or maybe my American colleague drug me out. All I have are the pictures and a note.

We were at work at 09:00 Wednesday morning. Upon waking Wednesday, I found this note with an email address and something in Italian, but between translating and deciphering the letters, I have no idea what it says. “Pino. Prendo per la gola.”? It’s a mystery. I suspect it will stay that way.

1 comment:

  1. Pino is a name. Pino. Prendo per la gola means Pino. Take by the throat.

    So, someone has nicknamed you Pino. And suggesting you take something by the throat.

    I think between drunken blogging and now this Italian incident where who knows what the hell you did that had some stranger calling you Pino and telling you to take by the throat, that maybe it's time for you to curb you alcohol consumption to no more than a gallon during any give 4 hour period.