Interlude: the Treachery of 7-11 Sandwiches

Introducing the 7-11 sandwich, available all throughout southeast Asia.  Looks good, doesn’t it?
Convenience store - sandwich unopened

Yet, if you buy it and open it up, this is what you get:
Convenience store - sandwich opened

You think you’re getting a nice big sandwich, filled with meats, lettuce, and cheese.  However, nothing but sadness and despair awaits you, as you open to find a hollowed out shell of a sandwich, with nothing but a facade of toppings.

And you sadly reflect upon your life.

On a more serious note, 7-11 stores in Taiwan are quite different from those in the states.  In the states, 7-11 is where you go for a late night slurpee, maybe a hotdog or two, since it’s the only place open all night.   Invariably, it’s staffed by Indians.

In Taiwan, the convenience stores are quite different.  It still focuses on convenience, with a large variety of snacks, drinks, and other miscellaneous items that you may find useful.  But it’s also different.  They’re staffed by fairly young kids.  There’s a convenience store every other block.  They’re extremely popular.

And they’ve also got services not available in western convenience stores.  You can go to a convenience store to pay your bills (phone bill, electricity bills, etc).  When you want to make a mail order, you pay at your local 7-11.  You can even buy concert tickets there!

Amazingly 7-11 also has its own cell phone service – I used 7-mobile, a pre-paid card, during my time in Taiwan.

And I’m not sure why convenience stores are so different between the US and Asia.  It’s odd.

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