Tung’s Travel Journal #5: Instead of soda and candy bars, German vending machines sell beer, condoms and cigarettes

Sophomore Manson Tung is currently in Switzerland and Germany on the school’s trip and will be writing periodic travel blogs from Europe. 

One of the most entertaining bits about Germany has been the vending machines. Back in the states, most vending machines sell soda or occasionally candy and small toys for children.

Here in Germany, though, the vending machines have a decidedly local feeling.

In our first hotel, rather than hawking ice or soda, the vending machine sold exclusively German-brewed beers.

At the restaurant that we visited for dinner the second night in Munich, I discovered an even more interesting machine in the bathroom. This one sold condoms and other sexually related items: all for two euro a pop.

While the previous machine was more unusual, another machine I saw was just as surprising in selection. I inserted two euro into the machine expecting to get a pack of gum (the instructions were written exclusively in German).

Just before I hit one of the buttons, a passerby, probably in his early twenties, said, “That machine is expensive. Go down the street; it’s cheaper in the market.” I was confused, so he pointed towards the machine and said “Marlboro.”

That’s when I realized that I wasn’t at a gum-dispensing machine but a cigarette one!

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