I waited for a pause in their conversation before asking what part of Ukraine she was from (Kyiv), and from there we just kept talking. We spent some time talking about our programs of study (she's in the math department), the Chernobyl explosion (she was six years old at the time), how people act in public within Europe and the United States, our tastes in music, and some of our future plans. We also talked about our accommodations, and when Vika heard that I was having problems finding a quiet roommate for next year she became very excited, pointing out how her friend at the next table was having the very same problem.
She introduced me to her friend Min, another graduate student from the math department, and we got along from the moment we were introduced to one another. Min has a roommate right now who will be leaving in December, but she would prefer to move in with someone who will be here for the whole school year rather than just the first half. She was also worried about finding a roommate who wouldn't mind her cooking, as she often makes kimchi - a food not generally known for it's aromatic smell. Vika pointed out how I had been to Korea, and Min seemed to brighten up considerably when she heard that.
Within ten minutes of meeting we were both tremendously excited at having found the perfect person to room with next year, and the next two hours were spent talking about various things. After leaving for the night Min called her mom to tell her about the good news, but was told that she shouldn't be sharing an apartment with one guy - two would be okay, and a guy and another girl would be even better, but one was simply unacceptable. She ran back to the café (making it back just after Vika left) to share the bad news, but if we manage to find a third (quiet) roommate things might still work out. Wendy has already put in an application for a new apartment, but later today I might call and ask if she wouldn't mind living with us instead.
I can completely understand where her mom is coming from - after all, we'd only met earlier that night (which her mom doesn't technically know, just that I'm male and not female) - yet at the same time it's also quite a surprise to find the perfect person to live with, only to hear a few hours later that you might not be able to live with them after all. I called Min on Friday and said that if we can't find anyone else we could always ask her current roommate to live with us, and then we could look for someone new during the fall semester to replace her once she graduates. I certainly hope we think of something.