Coffee Machine Encounter at United Nations

It’s been a long time that I have not written about traveling. I think I might write about simple things more frequently! We often have conferences in the United Nations for our international relations seminar, and the UN is so awesome that it has a coffee/hot chocolate/latte/macchiato/soup machine for 0.60 CHF. Yes, I did say soup. The machine maintains status as the “water cooler” for gentlemen diplomats. Representatives of more developed countries gather here to gossip about various propositions the lesser developed countries have brought to the table and how they’re never going to make it in this tough world of G5 nations. But I digress.

On Friday I went up to the coffee machine to buy some hot chocolate. I was muddling through my purse full of coins, looking for exactly 60 centimes, when I heard a man coming down the hallway. He stood in line beside me and commenced a conversation in Russian with a man he just saw come out of a room.

“Добрый день! Сегодня ужасная погода, не правда ли?” The other greeted him as well and agreed that the weather was very nasty. The man standing next to me replied, “Да, в этом то и беда; в Швейцарии сейчас начинается дождливая погода.” The other commented on weather shifts in Geneva and how it was impossible to keep track.

He turned to look at the machine, clearly seeing that I was not yet using it. I told him, “Вы можете идти.” He shook his head, “Нет, нет, идите.” I said, “Я ещё ищу мелочь. ” He understood that I was still looking for my coins and went ahead. Once his coffee was done, he turned around with an outstretched arm, two coins in his palm: he was giving me his change.