A Hamburger Today

What Are Your Best Vending Machine Memories?

"But digging a little deeper, I realized that I have had a few good vending machine memories—just not in the U.S."

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[Flickr: Stéfan]

Looking at Top Cultured's Vending Machine Flowchart made me think about my experiences with vending machines and how I may have only bought two things from that flowchart in my entire life. It's extremely rare that I'm in a situation that would drive me to buy something from a vending machine.

But digging a little deeper, I realized that I have had a few good vending machine memories—just not in the U.S. In middle school when I lived in Taiwan, I'd grab a can of milk tea or grass jelly drink from the vending machine in those few sweaty, breathing-impaired minutes between gym class and my next class. When I took a family trip to Japan as a tween I was enamored by an ice cream vending machine full of conical-shaped ice cream bars, providing me a respite of mint chocolate chip in between sightseeing.

My most recent "good vending machine" memory was during my trip to Seoul last May when one hot day, my thirst demanded attention on the subway platform and I bought my favorite "drink that I only buy when I'm super thirsty": Pocari Sweat. I haven't drank one since, but it was really good at the time. I guess I have some attachments to vending machines in Asia.

Do you have any fond memories of buying food from vending machines?

OK, I have one more: During my first trip to England, I bought a glucose-powered Boost candy bar at a train station and ate it for breakfast. I felt AWESOME. That's all.

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