Sunday, May 27, 2012

Drink Machines

Well, here's a post that I've been meaning to write for 3 years and am now finally getting around to posting.  Do you here that "check"?  That's me finally crossing it off my to-do list!

So when I think of Okinawa there are lots of images that come to mind: beautiful beaches, old castle ruins, cherry blossom trees, eisa dancers and drink machines.  Yes, drink machines.  Why, you may ask?  Well, because they are so much a part of the landscape here that you're never more than 100 yards away from one.  At least it seems that way.

The logical answer to why there are so many is that either the Okinawans are some thirsty people or that the heat and humidity dehydrate and therefore liquids are needed at every turn, but I think the actual reason there are so many machines around is that there is some kind of a tax break if you have one on your property.

How many are there?  Well, even I didn't realize how many until one day I was driving down 58 (the main road on Okinawa) and my thirsty kids in the back of the van were begging for a drink.  They began calling out every time they saw one, "drink machine!".  After driving less than a mile, they had called out at least 12 times, "drink machine!"  That's a lot of drink machines.

So here's what makes them unique:  LOCATION - anywhere, everywhere

TYPE - we call them all "drink machines" but there are also those that vend cigarettes, ice cream, face wash, even hot dogs



Ice cream
TYPES OF DRINK - oh, it will be so boring back in the States to have only Coke, Sprite and root beer as the only drink choices.  Here they have "Pocari Sweat", "Bickle", all kinds of teas (apple is my personal favorite), "Calorie Mate", "CC Lemon", "Fibe-Mini" (new dietary fiber drink, your healthy day), "Jungleman" (calorie off), grape juice with aloe (London's favorite), "Pokka", maple syrup drink (no kidding) - I could go on and on.

Transformer man can
HOT AND COLD IN THE SAME MACHINE - yep, you can buy a cold drink or a hot coffee (in a can) out of the same machine.  Brilliant!

The kids' favorite hot "drink" - corn soup!
Pocari sweat (cold drink) or Pokka coffee (hot drink)

I do wonder, after 3 years, how much Yen we've dumped into these things???

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