I have a coffee maker I brought from the States in my office so I can make good fresh clean coffee. I say clean, because Turkish coffee, thick and strong is known around the world and when you finish, the bottom is covered with something that resembles mud. Comes in a small cup, just big enough to hold a golf ball. That’s about all you want. I notice most people put 3 or 4 sugar cubes in it.
I use Starbucks coffee purchased on the Internet, and once people have a taste of it they come by every time I brew it. You can smell it down the hallway. But it’s more than the coffee as it is mainly the coffee machine itself, because it is a Bunn. A unique but simple coffee maker that brews a pot in about three minutes.
I have been using Bunn machines for about 20 years and every time I purchase something other than the Bunn, I end up going back to the best.
Our Security Office is just down the hall from us and sometimes we work hand and hand with its occupants. So when I make a fresh pot of coffee, I send them an email informing them. Several will drop by within a few minutes to get a cup and many times just to sit and enjoy not being in their office.
In an office near the Security office works two Turks. One is a good-natured intelligent man, Sadot; and his assistant is a young pretty girl with long hair, named Selin. Selin is a quiet person, who I later realized is that way because she sees us as Diplomats and feels should refrain from visiting with us.
One day I met Selin in the hallway carrying a coffee cup, so I asked her if she would like a cup. “Yes, okay.” She has a slight raspy voice that actually adds to her beauty.
She came in and filled her cup halfway and smelled it. Then she asked if she can tell Sadot to get some also. “Absolutely!” He showed up and got half a cup also.
So, I add them to the email list for when it’s made, and they almost always come in for coffee. They tell me that American coffee is so good and want to know why. I explain the coffee I use, the coffee maker and how the coffee is filtered. So, a few days later, they ask me how much is the Bunn, because they would like to get one.
When I tell then the price, there is disappointment in the faces. They tell me they were hoping it was about $45. So I told them I will buy one for their office, and that way I can come and get coffee from them. It took a few days for me to convince them, but finally I ordered it for them. I had actually ordered two, one for them and one for my wife’s office in the Consulate.
I showed them how to set it up and make it work, and soon Selin was sending out emails telling everyone fresh coffee was ready. I noticed that every time I came in with my coffee cup, she had a smile on her face from the depths of her heart, that told me she was genuinely happy to be sharing coffee with others. Even those in the Security Office came in for coffee, and the other day she told me, “I am coffee expert now!”
One Monday morning after getting coffee, I asked her how her weekend was. She stated she worked very hard and was tired. Turks are hard working so I assumed she had a second job on the weekends, but she said, “No, I teach dance to my students.”
“Dancing? What dancing do you teach?”
Then I ask a stupid question. “So you dance salsa?”
“Yes, and I am now taking hip-hop and ballet.”
A few days later, I ask her if she has any videos of her dancing.
“Yes, yes. On YouTube. Look for my name and you will see.”
Later that evening, I did a search for her and found hundreds of videos of her from all over the world! Turns out this little girl down the hall from me, who was afraid to talk to me, is world-renown for her dancing.
There is an old saying: If you really knew everyone with their fears, joys, passions and dreams, you would hate no one.
When you have a few moments, go to YouTube and do a search for Selin Obekci. Watch her energy and her movements, then watch the joy in her face at the end of each dance.
There are amazing people all over the world. All we have to do is accept them as they are, and we will see their gift.