After a pretty hard and depressing day during which – to boot – I made a fool of myself suggesting on #powerdns that a feature I constantly use and which works perfectly, wouldn’t work (duh!), I decided to take the evening off and drive into Frankfurt to treat myself to a good meal. During the drive over I pondered whether I’d have a good, thick steak smothered in cracked black pepper with a fresh salad or, even better, visit one of my favorite Indian restaurants on the seedy side of town. Unfortunately, I recalled a promise I made a couple of weeks ago…

Did you know there is something worse than a frozen pizza? There is. It’s a pizza out of a vending machine. I kid you not.

In the bowels of Frankfurt central station stands a vending machine called pizzo matic.

pizzo matic

The machine is filled with two kinds of Dr. Oetker frozen pizzas: on the left are pizza Marguerita, on the right salami. I chose the former and inserted EUR

  1. The machine warms up for a few seconds, pulls a pizza out of its own freezer and bakes it. Whilst I was waiting for the 180 seconds (give or take a second) to pass, I pressed an additional button to obtain a small bag containing an idiotic plastic fork and a knife together with the smallest paper napkin I’ve ever encountered. The pizza emerged through a slot. And none too soon, I’ll admit: I was being stared at by passers by as though they’d never seen a human being buying a pizza…

If I’d given the whole thing a trilli-second of thought, or had previously read this article in German by the Frankfurter Allgemeine (FAZ), what happened next wouldn’t have happened.

So, here I am, in Frankfurt central station during rush hour, holding a pizza which has been baked at almost 300 degrees Celsius, being bumped at and gawked at by half the population of this city. Now what? Do I eat the thing standing right there? There’s nowhere to stand actually: the vending machine is a main corridor leading up to the train platforms, and there isn’t even a table at which I can stand.

The answer to that question is pretty easy: I took a bite, carefully tasted it, shoved the pizza into its carboard box, folded the carton twice, and shoved the lot into a nearby trash can.

Dear Armin: if we ever meet, you owe me a dinner, but I’ll admit it was an unforgettable experience never ever to be repeated. ;-)