Things we take for granted #12: Vending machines

Vending machines have come a long way since they were first invented. Now vending machines vend anything from rice to sneakers to coffee beans. I would have loved to be in that era when you can buy your own meals, like in the video. Nonetheless, I am in my era and I have some great machines too.

Vending machines are just great aren’t they. They stand there quietly all day, under the rain and sun and they’re always ignored. Until we need something. When we need a quicky, we starting fiddling with its hole and pushing its buttons until something comes out from underneath. I digress. I miss the rows and rows of vending machines that we have in Japan. From cigarettes to candy, from cola to corn soup, they usually cover the length of a wall. And they dont only vend things that start with a “c”. They also have colourful condoms, cookbooks, caps and hats, cotton panties, cotton white shirts, clip-on ties…..

It also makes me wonder why we have so many vending machines in Japan when we also have a buttload of 7-11’s and 24-hour shops all around. Is it because we don’t sleep at all? Or is it because we are such feverish consumers that we have to shop constantly?

I’ve also wondered why there are so few in the UK. But I’m sure the answer is terribly simple. Chavs. They vandalise everything from cars to trees. Whenever and whatever they come across, they turn into something like barbarians discovering fire for the first time. Then they vandalise it. I’m sure that there are actually lots of vending machines all over the place, it’s just that you can’t see them because they’ve been vandalised to a point that only wheels underneath are left. I wonder if its the proliferation of cheap booze and late closing hours that are fueling the growth of the number of chavs. Anyway, I think we’re going off in too far a tangent.

The whole point of this entry was to remind you of the wonder of vending machines and how they’re always there for us when we need a quicky (ahem) a quick refreshment.

Here are images of some vending machines in Japan.

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Next time I’m home I’ll shoot pictures of more. Especially those new fangled ones with TV screens and scanners. These are the ones that you either get a free drink after watching the ad on the screen and answering a simple question regarding the ad or use your mobile phone to pay for your drink (or shirt, book or underwear).

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