June 15, 2010
We make up a long list—masking tape, towel racks, electric drill, olive tree, hooks—and drive through the scabby detritus of Upper Ragusa’s industrial zone to Brico, a do-it-yourself Sicilian version of Home Depot.
The smell of the sea fills our nostrils as we pull into the blazing parking lot. I don’t approve of big-box stores or the mall-ification of Sicily, but my hardware-hungry husband has landed on the island, we have a rental car, and I’m a hypocrite.
Kim tries to get in the exit doors, but they remain stubbornly shut.
We finally escape the hot fingers of the sun into cool Brico-dom. Kim marvels at the dainty shopping baskets, wondering where all the flatbed carts are.
We’re a little frustrated that we can’t decode what’s in all the pots and the tubes.
Floor space at Brico is devoted to garbage cans no bigger than my purse, and to jars for canning marmalade. We buy an olive tree for the tiny balcony and a rug made in Iran. Matinee idols deliver service with a smile (where are the Home Depot employees when you need them?).
At Home Depot you get boring batteries and drill bits at check-out. Here you get great pots of basil and fragrant mint.
We agree that the best thing about Brico is the aromatic do-it-yourself coffee bar with mod Italian tables and chairs.
For forty cents you can get not only a delicious caffè espresso, but a caffè lungo, caffè macchiato, cappuccino, caffè corto decaffeinato, caffè macchiato decaffeinato, mocaccino, cappciocc (what’s that?) cappuccino decaffeinato, cioccolato forte, cioccolata al latte, latte, latte macchiato, latte al cacao, and te al limone. Plus at the press of a button you decide if you want the above dolce or amaro. It’s Starbucks (but much better) in a machine the size of a jukebox.
Can you beat that, Home Depot?