My travels have once again taken me out of the country. Without question, traveling abroad is a great way to meet new people, try new things and find interesting vending machines.
I was pleased to find vending machines nearly everywhere that I went while in Germany: on the streets, in restaurants and even in bathrooms. While Germany doesn't have the same sort of vending machine sophistication as a country like Japan, they have managed to embrace more traditional vending technology to serve their population.
Since there can be a lot of detail involved with vending machine photographs, I've decided to upload the full resolution photos which can be accessed by clicking on the images below.
You can tell a lot about a country by looking at the vending machines which they employ, let's see what the machines of Germany have to tell us…
I saw quite a few vending machines on the street at the eye level of children (pictured at the top of this article). These dispensed various candy and toy items. Since these were out doors in public areas , the machines were subject to environmental wear and tear in addition to vandalism.
Near the vending machines for children, I would often find machines that should never be used by children such as the cigarette machine pictured above. This particular vending machine required a drivers license or ID be swiped in order to verify the age of the person purchasing the cigarettes.
The ID swipe is a good idea, but it's far from foolproof as a resourceful minor could get their hands on an acceptable ID. This system will work much better once we all have ID chips injected into the back of our hands. Once that system is in place then you'll at least need to steal someone's hand in order to buy cigarettes.
This was another machine that I found surprisingly close to several candy machines. I won't go into details of the items being offered, but you can click on the photo below and download the full resolution image if you are so inclined.
For all of the ladies out there that have been wondering what men's hygiene products are, you can take a closer look at this picture. Sadly, you will likely be disappointed but not surprised.
In the Frankfurt airport, I saw a vending machine that sold resealable 1 liter bags for use in the security screening process. I've seen many airports that have provided these for free, but If free bags aren't available I guess that getting to use a vending machine is the next best thing.
This internet kiosk was also found at the Frankfurt airport. It is somehow comforting to know that some things are consistent no matter where you are in the world. Windows will still give you the Blue Screen of Death even in German.
So what do these vending machines tell us about Germany? I'll let you decide that on your own.
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