I have an uneasy feeling that I may be the last person in Shanghai to notice that there is a pharmaceutical dispensing machine on the edge of the city’s best (if not largest) fake market. And even more uneasy to think that such machines are common throughout China – if not the world – and thus I am setting myself up for some “where have you been, pal” comments to this blog. So be it. Here’s the machine:
Close-up of the sign:
All concerns about buying medicine from vending machines aside – I harbor serious doubts about anyone who considers purchasing ‘medicine’ from a vending machine stationed outside of a mall stocked with fake LV purses, fake ipods, fake sports jerseys (Johan Santana replica jerseys available for RMB 100!), fake whatever. But what do I know (after all, I’m the guy who thought Starbucks would fail in China)? After the jump, photos of how to purchase drugs from a vending machine:
It’s real simple, actually. Choose the category of drug that you want from a list that includes ‘Cold and flu medication,’ ‘Fever reducing and painkilling medication,’ and ‘Chinese Medicine’ (!!!), among others:
Then choose the brand (the fake markets always give me a headache):
Deposit your money and – voila! – you’re cured. Or at least you have a little packet of medicine.
[Again, if these device are common all over China, if not the world - everywhere but my world - please be gentle in pointing that out. I simply didn't know.]