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[The List]: 7 Zany Vending Machines Around Shanghai

Machines selling vegetables and ginseng eyedrops, telling fortunes, and dispensing adult toys. Brave new world...
2016-03-04 19:02:53
My friends, if you're like me, you long for that inevitable day in which the machines rise up and overthrow humanity, relegating us all to the ashes of an imperfect history, ushering in a new and permanent age of steel certainty, digital exactitude, and cybernetic perfection.

Because that would be so metal.

It would be like that movie... what's that movie... you know the one... with the machines that take over the world... there's that evil computer... and it's got like time travel in it and the killer cyborg guy in it...

...Maximum Overdrive.

Well, you'll be pleased to know that the city of Shanghai is already well on its way to a future writ in automated steel and circuitry, with all the strange and wonderful vending machines around town.

So that's what this is about. Here's a roundup of bizarre vending machines in Shanghai. Good lord, what an overly long, circuitous, and convoluted introduction to a simple damn listical about zany vending machines around Shanghai.

(Still got it, kids.)

1) The Grocery Store Vending Machine

We're living in a brave new world, y'all. Located at 841 Yan'an Zhong Lu is a vending machine completely stocked with items hitherto located at your corner grocery store. Spinach, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, inscrutable green leaf things, cabbage, eggs...

...slurry of pork...'s a grocery store in a machine. Pretty strange. Pretty out there. It's located next to an office complex, sort of off and out of the way of a busy underpass road. No one is really walking past this thing on the street. The bao'ans know where it is but that's about it. Does anyone use this? Who keeps stocking it up? Do they do it every day? Is the food poison? Will the eggs break when they fall down to the slot?

These are questions asked into the void, my friends, for a machine has no answers for you. That's actually the chief selling point of the vending machine -- you don't have to engage in human interaction.

Brrrrr! Humanity. Gahhh, so tedious.


2) The Orange Juice Machine

The OJ Machine is a super hip and sleek box of modern life that slings freshly squeezed orange juice somewhere down one the corridors at Exit 14 of the People's Square subway station. Side note: the People's Square subway station is as big as a damn airport these days. Shit's crazy. They have like full-on hotels and five star restaurants in there now. They have a stage with a piano on it for some smooth and easy live jazz as you hurry by to try to catch your subway train, hating your horrible life. They also have this vending machine right here which serves freshly squeezed orange juice to, apparently, according to the graphics on it, break-dancers, professional skateboarders, and X-Games athletes.


In my day, the kids preferred awesome hard drugs to freshly squeezed orange juice.

It's got an open interior so you can see what's going on with your OJ inside. Real oranges in there!

So you press a bunch of buttons and stuff, and give them 15rmb...

...and then the machine goes WRRRRRRRRR BZZZZZZZ and this pops out...

... a coffee cup-sized cup of real orange juice. It was real OJ. Or it tasted like it anyways. And it was not too warm either. Thought it would be real warm. It's not bad. I don't know about 15rmb, but whatever. There you have it. Real OJ machine. Boom.


3) The Weight Machine and the Mysterious Fortune Teller Machine of Mystery

Also in People's Square subway station -- that place is a marvel of modern technology, I'm telling you -- is a height and weight machine and a fortune teller machine. The height and weight machine...

...told me I'm fat so it's obviously broken.

I don't know maybe it's got too much -- if you'll pardon my gaucheness -- fucking bullshit caught up in it's circuitry or something. Nuts to that machine. Moving on.

The Fortune Teller Machine is this guy right here.

You've probably seen them around town going RAARR RAARR RAARR RAAAAARRRR at you when you walk past. You can't understand what this thing is saying. It sounds like Charlie Brown's teacher getting murdered with a brick. No one knows what this thing is saying. It's sounds like two Kling'ons having gross Kling'on sex. It sounds like a Russian gargling acid. Who knows, it could just be dropping mad N-Bombs to the world and no one would know.


This thing works by reading the prevalent lines on your left palm.

You stick your hand in it's mouth...

...and then it gets in tune with the primordial cosmic forces on the astral plane for about 15 seconds, and then it pops out your fortune on a receipt thing.

Looks like this.

What's that, like ancient Elvish or some shit? What's that, like Middle Earth Mordor tongue, spoken only by the ancient order of the druid table or some shit? I can't read that shit.

I'm assuming everything's chill.


4) The Ramen Vending Machine

This one's in the basement of a mall in Jing'an at 1788 Nanjing Xi Lu. It's a pretty nothing mall but it's got this thing, which is the only one in the city. This Ramen Vending Machine is pretty much the future. This is all pretty much the future. Alas, it was broken when we went so we can't report back on it.

Probably someone asked it to "define love" and it was like BOOOOP BEEEP ......oooooo......[system error][system error][self destruct].

We asked the nice security lady about it and she said it would be back up and running within a month. She seemed pretty keen about it. I share the sentiment.



Oh my god, never been so angry in all my life. Yeah, those rigged claw game things. Rigged claw games. You put the coin in and then move the claw to the stuffed animal, and then when you lift up the damn animal with the damn claw, the damn claw casually loosens its grip on the damn animal and it falls away, back to the bottom on the box.

GIVE ME THE PIKACHU. GIVE ME APINEIPBPB t gawggas....*&^....29u59]8.

The most claw machines in Shanghai are next to the cinema on the top floor of Gateway Plaza in Xujiahui. They've got like 50 machines, stocked with every single stuffed animal from the last 10 years of Disney, Dreamworks, and Pixar movies. Minions, Cars, the hilarious snow man guy from Frozen, Inside Out, Penguins of Madagascar -- they have...

...but you can't have.



steady... steady....


Ohmygod, ohmygod. Worst time of my life. Worst thing to happen to anyone ever in the history of humanity.

BONUS: This cigs and hongbao claw-crab machine by C's Bar. You can actually win in this one.


6) YES: The Drugs Machine. Sweet.

Well, Shanghai, there is a first time for everything: I'm actually going to impart some real useful information for you that you can use out there in your life in the city. No jokes, no guff, no swears (maybe), no diversions, here's some useful information for you that you can actually use. This is like a first, for real.

In Xujiahui, near the Exit 15, there's a Pharmacy Vending Machine, which might be useful to you if you're on the move around the city and are feeling the sickies, and might need some meds. It's mostly common cold sorts of stuff -- pills for stomach ache, headache, a few pain relief items, some fever meds stuff. But it's all in Chinese, so unless you've got some real advanced reading skills -- like the names of medicines in Chinese -- you're not going to know what to get. Here's a couple recommendations of what they're selling in this thing.

Okay so there is three menus of items and you just scroll through them. This is the first menu:

Items of note here: The 40rmb box at the bottom middle -- that's the morning after pill. Mmmhmm. The 20rmb box -- fourth one on the list -- that's for diarrhea.

This is the second menu:

The 42rmb-box in the second row, far right is for congestion. 69rmb-box is Vitamin C pills. 13rmb is a pain reliever for aches and pains.

And here's the third:

29rmb, bottom left -- sore muscles. 36rmb box -- stomach aches.

Anyway, I tried out the eyedrops. Ginseng eye drops, son. The real deal.

Very much the ideal choice if you want to experience what it's like rubbing your face on the fucking surface of the fucking sun. Can't recommend it strongly enough.

Holy LORD, the burn, the burn. My God.

But I didn't have to blink for the rest of the day, so... I guess? Um? Is that what it's supposed to do?



If you've stuck with me this long, this is your reward, my friends. This is the real find on this list, Shanghai. This is nuts. This is a thing. This is a thing that exists. Behold: a fully stocked, fully loaded, full ribbed for her pleasure, full automated sex shop. Yes.

There are no employees at the fully automated sex shop. None. It's just you and walls and walls of pure, hardcore perversity. Dildos, buttplugs, lubes, fleshlights, whips, chains, oils, lotions -- all that jazz -- all organized in little plastic compartments.

Look at item number 9 in this picture.




So... How it works is each little compartment has it's own QR Code. You scan that QR Code

The item shows up in your phone. You pay via WeChat wallet...

...and boom, the little door opens up and you can collect your item.

Oh look! Someone's the proud new owner of a "Luxury Fetish Ball Gag"! Happy days are here at last.

Hao Qi Er Yi is at 964 Anlong Lu in Changning. There's only one of these in Shanghai, and that's where it is. They're open 24 hours a day, 365 days year.


Make sure you leave them a nice note on the wall.