Tuesday, August 4

Little Differences #15 and #16

Two little quickies for you . . .

Cigarette machines. Remember these? I noticed a cigarette machine in the Frankfurt airport and immediately got a big smile on my face. Not because I could buy a pack of smokes with some pocket change but because it was a little difference. These have disappeared in the U.S. I wonder what year they vanished? I do remember seeing them as a child so I'm guessing it must have been the 1980s when they saw their demise. Since the Frankfurt airport I've seen cigarette machines in restaurants here in Luxembourg and in France. The most surprising place I saw one was at the Neil Young concert in Cologne, Germany. The concert venue was outdoors and so was the machine.

During our trip to Seattle we caught up with a friend who works at Free and Clear. He was saying that cigarettes have another new tax added to them. A pack of cigarettes now costs over $7.00!!! Can you imagine? Maybe that's only in Washington. I really have no idea.

Diet Coke doesn't exist in Europe. Here it is called Coca-Cola Light. Same thing, different name. You probably already knew that but I just thought about it again since I'm currently on a Diet Coke kick. Yeah. I don't know why but I have to have one in the afternoon. It is also available here in a cute little can. Remember those little cans of Tab from the 80s? Anyhoo. Today at the grocery store I noticed the only varieties of soda pop available were Coke, Coke Light, Coke Zero, and Sprite. No Pepsi. No Mountain Dew. No Sierra Mist. No Root beer. Different, huh? You can buy Red Bull though. Never had one. Are they any good?

13 comments:

amy said...

There were still a few cigarette machines around when I was in high school and in my "rebellious stage";). But by the time I was a junior in college some restaurants were "carding" you just to sit in the smoking section- you had to be 18, even if you were not smoking! I graduated HS in 94', BTW. They know what they are doing over their in Lux, not even selling Pepsi products :)

jojoebi said...

In Japan there are vending machines everywhere, mostly drinks and cigarettes, I read somewhere that there is one vending machine per 20 people in Japan! They have recently introduced a card with a chip in it, you need to have ID to buy the card (smoking age is 20) BUT the beer machines don't use a chip card! Not only that, in the beer machines they often sell 1L cans of beer!!!
Root beer never took off in the UK, McDonalds had it when they first opened shops and I think everyone who went into McD's ordered it - ONCE. Revolting stuff, it wasn't long before they stopped serving it. You can get Dr Pepper sometimes and Red Bull is FULL of caffine, if you are not a caffine drinker you will be totally wired after one can, they recommend that you don't have more than 2 cans a day but in the UK it became popular to drink with vodka.
as for coke, it used to be called diet coke, not sure when the name changed, hmmm, I think it is coke light in Japan too.
In Japan Calpis (sounds like cow piss when you say it) is really popular but sprite is not.

On a completely different note...I know you like macaroons, I have just put some all macaroon fabric in the shop ;o)

Leslie said...

i remember when those cigarette machines had those pull knobs!! that must have been a long time ago. I have not seen one in ages

This Girl loves to Talk said...

I always drink Lemon flavoured soda.. its called Lift or Lemon Squash..(not the same as lemonade or sprite) I noticed they didnt have that in the US when I was there.. maybe its an Australian thing??

But I made up for it by drinking lots of Root beer while there.. we dont have that here...

christie said...

Hi
when I lived in Koln 40 years ago, the cigarette
machines were embedded in the walls of buildings
on the street. They were more expensive than in
the us back then, just as Gas was and is.
There were many non Amerian brands..unfiltered
and stinky.

Jessica said...

I remember cigarette machines here in San Diego back in the late 90's/2000 but havent seen them since.

My husband is Irish and swears that Rootbeer tastes like toothpaste, needless to say he cant stand the stuff. Weird how tastes can be so different from country to country.

I am glad your family had a nice time in Seattle and I too have a 3 year old allergic to peanuts. We havnt done any testing but am going to have to eventually to see how sensitive he is and to see if maybe he has grown out of it.

We are heading to Paris (via Dubin) before heading home and am planning on trying out that Macaroon place you were talking about on the Champs Elysees, we are staying right around there at the Marriott....cant wait!

ps. I totally remember that Mexican "bingo" game from when I was a child, they played that game all the time at the Catholic Church Fiesta every year. Love it!

A mãe da Mafaldinha said...

Yep! We the europeans are a bit crazy with vending machines. They are every where. Here in lisbon, in the subway there are vending machines for newspapers and magazines and for drinks and snacks, but the most uncomum is one that sells soup (dont' ask!?) as well as other traditional portuguese food. Yes, it's a vending machine! You put the coin she gives you a hot soup! But my award goes to a vending machine that makes a hot bread toast with chease and ham! Strange!
Now is the part when you ask me if all this vending machine work properly? Of Course not. I Think portugal is a testing country!

Juice said...

Bars in my state still have cig vending machines.

As for Red Bull, as a friend once said "It's not a gift, it's a loan." You'll have fabulous energy but then you'll be up all night and feel like crap the next day.

Jessica said...

I completely forgot about those vending machines...what a throwback!

Lindsay said...

I lived in a small village outside of Bitburg. There were cigarette machines on just about every corner in Bitburg. When I would go to other villages to visit friends I would notice one or 2 in each and they were teeny tiny villages - I was starting to wonder if each village was required to have one. I miss Sprite from Europe - it has a more lemon/lime taste than in the US.

katy said...

Amy - WoW! I've never heard of carding to sit in the smoking section. Can't imagine actually wanting to . . . seems more like a punishment ;)

Jojoebi - love hearing about your experiences in Japan. It is so very interesting how tastes are different from country to country.

Leslie - I remember the pull knobs too. They must have been on regular vending machines too . . .

This Girl - Never heard of Lemon Squash. Love to try it some day.

Jessica - I had no idea Root Beer was such an American thing. I don't particularly care for it unless it has heaps of vanilla ice cream in it :)Have a wonderful time in Paris. Enjoy the macarons - wonder what your favorite will be?

A mae - Didn't know vending machines were so popular in Portugal. Sounds like they are in Japan also. Guess they aren't all that convenient if they're not working properly.

Juice - Wild about the cigarette machines. I really have no interest in Red Bull. Don't need to be hyped up, that's what kids are for.

Jessica - yes, a throwback and a throw away!

Lindsy - Bitburg, huh? What brought you there? I haven't been there yet. I didn't know European Sprite tastes differently, I'll have to have some.

Monkey's Mama said...

This is where all the cig machines have gone: http://www.artomat.org/

They have one in Ballard at Venue - it's cool but I've yet to buy anything. The ones I want to get are always sold out - I'll have to take a trip down there one of these days.

Dana said...

Hi,
I've just finished reading through many of your "Little Difference" posts. Most of it holds true in Northern Italy as well -- though I'm not real sure about the family allowance -- maybe it comes in the form of a tax break here?
We even have an Auchan in our city with those exact same carts!
Great posts! Can't wait to see more.
D

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