My love for vending machines started at an early age. My family used to go on trips from
Just outside the restrooms at Terrible Herst's was a run of the mill vending machine that sold chips, candy and gum. Every trip I would be sure to have some change with me so I could use that machine. I usually ended up getting stale Juicy fruit gum. I'm not exactly sure why but I usually got Juicy Fruit for one reason or another but apparently it wasn't a big mover in the area as it was always stale. Even at that young age there was something just something that I enjoyed about putting in the coins and watching things fall down into the catch area that I enjoyed even if I didn't quite understand why I liked it so much.
Maybe part of me wanted to play the slot machines like my parents but I wasn't old enough so I'd have to make do with the vending machine. Of course a vending machine has several advantages over slot machines. Firstly, you more or less know that you are going to get something for your money provided your snack didn't get stuck between the row and the glass; this is always sad situation. Secondly, food comes out of them (though I think that originally you could win gum out of slot machines). Thirdly you have some control which is always nice when you are hungry.
Another thing that I find appealing about vending machines is that everyone is equal in front of them so long as you have the right coins. Age, race, social stature; the machine doesn’t care. It doesn’t judge, it just does its job.
Another early interaction with vending machines was at a super market in
Just recently I found a Maxwell House coffee machine in the S Terminal of the
I did find a machine at an airport once that offered hot french fries, I should have tried it but I wasn't feeling like eating at the time. If I ever run into another one of those machines I’ll be sure to give it a go.
There are of course the vending machines that do not sell food or drink. Most notably are the machines that sell iPods and related accessories. I don’t know who’s using these machines though as I’ve never seen one in use. I’ve also seen vending machines in
When traveling abroad one of the great things is that even if you don't speak the language you can still pop in a few coins and get a snack, a drink or even coffee (in a can or freshly brewed, hot or cold). Vending machines are fairly language independent which is very comforting. Pick what you want, put some money in, push some buttons and hopefully what you think is coffee is actually coffee.
I’ve also seen adult vending machines. I find these mostly in men’s rooms as I don’t make a habit of wandering into women’s restrooms. Most memorable was in a pub in
I always look forward to finding new and interesting vending machines in my travels and view them as familiar friends who will sell me a snack even though I don’t speak the local language. When you travel I would highly recommend giving these ever vigilant guardians of snack foods a
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Coming Soon: The Way Traveling Used To Be