Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Coffee Machine Filosofia

I like to use my experiences with the coffee machine show how Italians are different from me. I’m not saying I’m better, just different. Most coffee machines have a dozen different choices but 99% of the time there are two buttons used, "caffe corto dolce" or "caffe corto molto dolce". Nothing wrong with that it’s a matter of taste. Everyone has about the same tastes including me. The differences come along when you look at the aspects of the machine. The machine has the ability to read a card and then automatically deducts the amount for the coffee from the money charged to the card like a debit card. Why in the world this isn’t used more in the States I don’t understand. It is so damn convenient! I want this everywhere. You don’t need to carry change. I don’t even have to take the card out of my wallet. I hold my wallet up and bang it’s ready to sell me something. In this respect the machine is so much better but it has its drawbacks. One is that the coffee machine doesn’t make change. So if you pay with money and you don’t have exact change then your change is lost to the next group of people. Given that a coffee is 23 cents it’s unlikely you will ever have exact change. I said next group because you always go to get coffee in a group, another good aspect of Italian life. So it’s agreed I love this card and getting coffee together, but the Italians don’t seem to really USE it. They think I’m mad when I put a 10 euro bill in the machine and charge up the card for a week maybe two. Most Italians on the other hand will never have more than 1.50 on their card, EVER. I’m not sure why they just put a few coins in and charge it up to about 1.50, when that will only last a day or two at best. This means that they have to carry change around. Why even have the card if you are always carrying change? Are they afraid the card will lose the value or they will lose the card? Do they not want to have that much money stuck in a card? Will they go crazy and spend too much with a lot of money on the card? I just don’t know. The benefit of the card is that you only need the card, not the change. If you don’t have money on it then you need change. I also like in Italian how they never use “ph” to get an “f” sound. Who came up with phoolish idea?

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