When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Dottoré!

Vending Machine Blues: The Rising Cost Of A Healthy Break

"Dottoré, do you have 1.50 euro by any chance?"

Photo of a man buying a snack at a vending machine

Press F1 for a "healthy" snack

Mariateresa Fichele

Until recently, if you entered a Mental Health Center, you might be approached by a patient who asks you for a cigarette or a euro to buy a coffee.

But since they installed vending machines, things have changed, and the requests have become more specific.

The other day, a patient approached me and asked, "Dottoré, do you have 1.50 euro by any chance?"

"Pasquale, don't you think that's a bit much? What's the money for?"


"You always say that too much coffee makes me jittery! That’s why I thought I could have a decaffeinated coffee. But it tastes awful, so I thought it would go down well with a cookie, which costs 70 cents. But then I eat too much junk food, so instead of the cookie, I want to buy a ‘healthy’ snack, because they told me it won’t make me fat. But the healthy one costs 80 cents.

"Well, 80 plus 70 makes 1.50!

"You’re my doctor! I only do what you tell me to do!"

So I guess Pasquale got me. But he also made me understand something about economics: Consumerism turns out to be democratic, because it makes no distinction between the sick and the healthy.

Once supply is created, demand always follows. Even from crazy people.


Learn more about Worldcrunch's exclusive Dottoré! series here.
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Geopolitics

Why The 'Perfect Storm' Of Iran's Protests May Be Unstoppable

The latest round of anti-regime protests in Iran is different than other in the 40 years of the Islamic Republic: for its universality and boldness, the level of public fury and grief, and the role of women and social media. The target is not some policy or the economy, but the regime itself.

A woman holds a lock of her hair during a London rally to protest the murder of Mahsa Amini in London

Roshanak Astaraki

-Analysis-

The death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in Tehran on Sept. 16, after a possible beating at a police station, has sparked outrage and mass protests in Iran and abroad. There have been demonstrations and a violent attempt to suppress them in more than 100 districts in every province of Iran.

These protests may look like others since 2017, and back even to 1999 — yet we may be facing an unprecedented turning point in Iranians' opposition to the Islamic Republic. Indeed newly installed conservative President Ibrahim Raisi could not have expected such momentum when he set off for a quick trip to New York and back for a meeting of the UN General Assembly.

For one of the mistakes of a regime that takes pride in dismissing the national traditions of Iran is to have overlooked the power of grief among our people.

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in
Writing contest - My pandemic story
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ