The 7-11 Guy
At a corner store in southern Thailand…
Austrian Dude: Wow, these stores called “7-11” I am all the time seeing in streets of Asia.
Me: Yeah, they’re everywhere in the US too, it’s an American chain.
AD: No, it cannot be so.
Me: Yeah it seriously is, they’ve been around forever, but it looks like some guy had the genius idea of bringing 7-11’s to Asia and is making billions of dollars.
AD: Wow, Scheiße.
Two days later, in a different town in Thailand, passing another 7-11…
Austrian Dude: What is the name of the guy who brought 7-11 to Asia?
Me: I don’t know, why?
AD: I fucking hate him.
Globalization — really, the blandization of the world — has bugged me since the first time I left America and touched down in Europe. I cringe at seeing McDonald’s in beautiful piazzas in Italy, KFC’s next to Buddhist temples in China, and Adidas shirts on children emerging from mud huts in Tanzania. I don’t want the world to be the United States. So I, like Austrian Dude (whose real name is Andreas, Hi Andreas!), complain.
But who are we to tell the world what they can eat or wear or use? Don’t they have the right to import what they want from the West? Imagine a Japanese tourist cursing the sushi restaurants in every American city, or a Spanish tourist livid at the Spanish red tile roofs in every California suburb.
Welcome to the new world, travelers.