Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Russian Vending Machine Roundup

While visiting Russia several vending machines caught my eye. Unfortunately I didn't think to take a lot of pictures at the time; so this post won't be image intense.

One of the first things I noticed about the vending machines in Russia that was the availability of bottles of beer. This was quite a novelty to me since I had never seen it before. The beer was quite reasonable in price; about $2-3 for a large bottle, though I'm not sure about the quality.

At the airport I saw several vending machines that dispensed fresh orange juice. I didn't use one of these machines, but they squeeze your juice while you wait. There is even a little window to show you just how fresh the oranges are (pictured below). This machine struck me just right, and I find myself wondering why we don't have these in malls instead of soda machines.

While not a vending machine I did notice free standing recycling machines in the park next to my hotel. I thought that this was a great solution to having the area littered with bottles and cans. If you make it easy for people to recycle then they are more likely to do it. I didn't see a single bottle or can in the area the entire time I was there. I really wish that we could have these in the States.

One final note on my recent vending machine observations. Due to the largest denomination of coin being 5 rubles (about 15 cents in USD), the vending machines can sound like a slot machine paying off when you are due 50 rubles change. This was startling the first time I encountered it, but then it amused me to no end.

So, has anyone out there used one of these orange juice vending machines?

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  1. Apparently you did not stumble upon the "no need to pack a drinking glass with you, the vending machine has one you can borrow, which others have used before you and still more will use after you" milk vending machine that I ran into in Russia during the summer of 1990.

    Perhaps those special vending machines are of a bygone era.

  2. Indeed I did not see any milk vending machines with communal glasses. That certainly doesn't sound like something that I would partake in, though I'm sure I would have taken a picture had I seen one. Thanks for letting me know about that one; I'll keep my eyes peeled in the future.

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  4. I think these are a pretty nifty idea, we should have these in the States. We should make these in America (or have the Chinese make them for us;-). It would be totally neat to have in a Mall or Department Store. Though, I do beleive that us germ-consious Americans will forego the communal cup, in favor of disposable styrofoam or paper:-)

  5. Thanks for sharing information. After reading your blog I have decided to travel to Russia to meet the vending machine of my dream.