Wednesday, January 28, 2009


At Costco in Chiba today, I asked someone if the store had ice packs. I had just bought a pile of meat and nothing frozen to help keep it chilled during the journey home. (My friend Brenda drove me. Thanks Brenda!) A sales guy said "vending machine" and pointed to the exit where another employee was checking receipts (just like they do at the Costcos in the U.S.). Sure enough, there was a coin-operated dry-ice dispenser. Only 50 yen per serving. You slide open the glass door, hook the handles of a plastic bag so that it's right under the open end of a metal chute, close the door, put in your five 10-yen coins, press the green button, and's like a blizzard in there! Crushed dry ice drops out of the chute, and there's a loud whooshing sound, and some of it blows out of the bag, but most of it lands in it. When that's over you slide the door open, grab the bag now half-full of dry ice chunks, tie it up and you're outta there.

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