Italy Adventures: Case of the Kooky Corkscrew

Before I tell you all about Christmas in Modica, I want to let you know I’ve got another Buffy Rewatch up on Tor.com, this one about the Early Scoobies.

Kelly and I spent the morning of December 25th scampering up and down the town of Modica, which is built in a serious ravine. Our opulent and gorgeous bed and breakfast was on a long street at the bottom of the incline, just downhill from the biggest of the churches, Saint George.
See? Steep!
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We climbed up to the church and I shot pictures of a few songbirds; there’s a sort of garden around the Duomo, and a little lemon grove. Then we went higher, looking for the clock tower but never quite finding it.
We had a reservation at a restaurant for a big holiday brunch and turned up for that after our hike, along with a number of big Italian families. The food started with a big plate of appetizers and then piled on course after course: three pastas, two meats, two desserts, sweet wine.
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The plan had been to feast like queens for lunch, roll home and then just picnic for supper. We were prepared, because we’d spent much of the 24th acquiring fruit, bread, meat (a lot of meat, because the vendor was extra-cute and charming), more fruit, cheese, cookies and wine. We were trying out as much real Sicilian wine as we could, naturally, so Kelly could learn about it. But horrors! As we were headed back to the room, laden with grocery goodness, we realized we hadn’t managed to get our hands on a corkscrew.
If we hadn’t been carry-on only girls, we might have brought one from Canada, but it seemed a good prospect to get confiscated at the airport.
There was a random scattering of open stores, even though we’d picked a bad time, night before Christmas and all. Though, actually, we always found it rather hard to figure out what types of shops and services would be open in Italy at various times of day. We started going into one place after another, asking for a corkscrew. There was a gadget place that seemed especially promising, but the owner only sold batteries, shaving implements, lottery tickets, first and second-hand smoke… and not so much housewares. Finally we went into a wine bar and the owner told us we could hit up the store down the street (also owned by her) for one.
And they did have one for sale, but it was part of a set of expensive and useless wine accessories. We might have sucked it up, though. Because wine! At Christmas! In Modica! But the folks on duty there decided to lend us theirs. Bring it back on Boxing Day, they said, and so that’s exactly what we did.
(We found the Sicilians supernice in this way everywhere we went, whether or not we could communicate with them.)
It was a good picnic, and that afternoon was practically the only window of time that we spent loafing, rather than walking out to see some marvelous sight. Or walking half a block to make sure nobody had towed, ticketed, rammed or made off with our rental car. After the massive Christmas lunch, we couldn’t possibly have moved! We didn’t break into the stash o’ food for about six hours.
Here’s Saint George’s:
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