“The state of being able to proceed with something with little effort or difficulty”. The word’s Latin origins come from the word ‘convenire’, meaning “to assemble” or “agree” (Google.com).
It is difficult to truly understand the meaning of the word “convenience” until you have lived in Thailand and frequented the 7-11’s that are located on just about every other street corner (Just for a rough estimate, there are over 8,000 of these convenience stores, well…conveniently located all around Thailand!).
7-11, or “7”, as it is popularly called around here, provides its customers with top-notch service at a great price. In terms of its audience, 7-11 does not discriminate. It is accessible to people from all walks of life, cultures, and socioeconomic status. This is a selling point in itself.
Whether it is a release from the Bangkok heat, or automatic greeting and smile from its employees, 7-11 provides you not only with your daily needs, but it provides you with both good service, products, and a life that is a little bit easier.
Aisles of goodies
7 is where you can find an assortment of refreshments and colorful drinks, snacks ranging from 7 baht to around 100. Whether you are looking for toilet paper refills, medicine, CDs, a frozen lunch, or a yummy Thai snack to fulfill a craving, you can find just about everything here. In extreme emergencies, you can even buy underwear! Not only that, but 7 provides many other services and promotions…
If you are out of cash, they are usually housing grounds for ATMs as well. You can pay your electricity and phone bills, or save up little stickers to earn points to buy cute tables of umbrellas adorned with Sanrio or LINE characters. Alternatively, you can use these stickers as a currency for the duration of the promotional period. Other deals exist and your local 7-11 employees will almost always ask you if you are interested in getting two extra green tea juice boxes, or an extra pineapple pie for a cheaper deal than you intended to buy. Sometimes, they even wear paper hats to advertise these promotions!
My favorite comic act witnessed at 7-11 is when the door automatically opens without anyone walking in and the Pavlovian reaction of its employees, as they instantaneously give their sing-song greeting to the invisible customer.
The more you familiarize yourself with 7, the more treasures you will find hidden in its shelves. It can easily become a daily trip, or even a slight addiction… There must be something about those blindingly bright lights on at night, that attract us like moths to light…
Recommendations: Classic 7-11 treats
- Ham and cheese croissant (toasted, buttery and cheesy goodness)
- Sticky rice burger
- Chicken teriyaki
- CP shrimp wonton soup
- 7-11 hotdogs
- Steamed buns
- Japanese gyoza (dumplings)
- The ice cream selection (Enough said 🙂
- The chocolate selection (Approximately 1 aisle long)
- Sushi rolls (Salmon teriyaki is a fave!)
You can pretty much hit all of your basic food group needs at 7-11…For those of us who are more health-conscious, here is the list of healthy “non-junk” eating you can do at “7”:
- Packaged sliced Dole Apples
- Pickled mangos
- Soy milk
- Granola bars
- Dried mango sheets
- Nuts (almonds, peanuts, broad beans, etc.)
- Whole wheat bread
The Future of 7-11
7-Elevens around Thailand are evolving and becoming more progressive, with even more healthy alternatives to quick-fix junk food. Some of them are incorporating printing services, while others offer bike-renting services. The future of 7-11s will see self-service checkouts and microwaves to heat up your meals.
Just for Fun
And don’t forget about 7-Elevens world-famous slurpees!