I go to 7 Eleven Fo(u)r doughnuts!
This is the phrase my third grade teacher, Mrs. Zimmerman, taught the class to help us remember the relationship between 7, 11, and 4. Back then I had no clue what a 7-Eleven was. Growing up I never saw a 7-Eleven, so I just assumed they weren’t that big of company. That all changed when I came to Thailand.
Frist off, you should know that there are 7-Elevens everywhere and Thais love going to them. It seems to be a common after-school activity to go to the store and pick up a snack. Also, people get really excited when they are taking a trip to 7-Eleven. They call it Seven, with the emphasis on the latter syllable so it has a party style sound like se-Ven. For me, the nearest one is about a 30 second walk- just across the street. It opened just a few days after I moved into my rental house—(one of my colleges joked that it opened just for me). As for contents, it has about everything I could imagine and more. It has the standards you would expect at a convenience store; the 6pack of bear, pop, and salty and sweet snacks. But then it also has some things I wouldn’t think of usually finding at a normal convenience store in Iowa. For instance, there are bags of rice (uncooked), salt, and sugar. Then there is the soy sauce, cooking oil, and vinegar. There are whole sections dedicated to hair supplies, baby formula and dvds and music. The 7-Eleven even has Skippy peanut butter! However, it is way over priced and only chunky, so I am glad I brought my own. My favorite thing to buy at Seven is juice. I get tired of just drinking water at my house.
So far, I would say I really like my house. It is one story and has 4 rooms (a main room, a bedroom, a kitchen, and bathroom), tile floors, and a western style flush toilet. I estimate the dimensions of my house are about 30 feet by 20 feet—the perfect size for one person. Out front, there is a porch, while out back there is a patio for doing laundry. The whole area is enclosed by walls with a sliding gate in front. When I first moved in, the house didn’t have any furniture. Thankfully, that has changed and now I have a bed, two tables, one fan, one red plastic chair, a rice cooker and other cooking appliances. The Tessabon where I work has been nice to also throw in a refrigerator (this is essential to keep the ants from getting to my food), a TV (which I hardly watch except for the Thai soap opera from 6:40 pm-7:40), and a washer (a gift from heaven after you have been washing your clothes by hand for months).
My house is strategically located in the center of town and not that far from anything. Right across from my house is a kind-of outdoor food court where vendors set up there booths. At first I was like “why would I eat there when I could make my own food for cheaper”, but when a full dinner only costs you 20-30 baht (about $.67-$1) you begin to wonder how big the cost-benefit ratio is of cooking. Also, I like eating across the street because I like talking with the people.
And of course, there is the gold mine 7-Eleven across the street. The only thing it doesn’t have is doughnuts.