Japan is the land of vending machines. There are approximately 5 million unvandalized machines throughout Japan just waiting to thank you for your next purchase. Sounds convenient, I suppose, and it is if you’re thirsty or need a cigarette. If however, you want something more substantial, nine times out of ten you’ll have to drink away your hunger. But oh the selection you’ll have to do this. There are about twenty varieties of canned coffee that all taste the same. Served hot or cold. There’s Pepsi and Coke in cute little bottle shaped cans. No Super Big Gulps, sorry. Japanese folks love amino drinks that all brag about healing your parched spirit or osmotic pressure in broken English. There are also small bottles of medicinal drinks flavored exactly like the taste in the back of my mouth when I got two I.V. drips last week during my bout with the flu. So I think they actually contain medicine! And we can’t forget the beer vending machines. The beer is only slightly more expensive than at the store surprisingly. When I first got here I asked everyone about the beer and cigarette machines and underage purchases. I received a typical nonsensical Japanese response. It’s okay because all of the machines turn off between 11 and 12pm. What? Aren’t teenagers usually up during the day, going to school, and part time jobs when they might actually want to buy some smokes? Oh yeah, the whole country smokes. I forgot. There are more interesting vending machines in Tokyo. Yes in Tokyo you can buy a curry rice meal, ramen, or a rice ball. If you find yourself in the redlight district of Shinjuku, machines sell some really crazy shit that will remain unmentioned but will tame most of the more common sexual fetishes. Yes you can really buy anything here. But I’ll tell you, all I want is a damn Snickers Bar.