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.

ชน!  Chon!

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About stevemeetsworld

Documentary filmmaker. Curious traveler.

4 responses to “The 7-11 Guy”

  1. Ben says :

    7-11 is actually a Japanese company. Started in US, but majority owned by a Japanese company since the 80s.

    • stevemeetsworld says :

      Interesting, but it’s only “Japanese” in that there was a recent stock takeover. lt started as a small grocery store in Dallas, Texas in the 1920’s, and made up a Big Gulp-sized part of American life for the better half of a century before launching in Asia.

  2. Unitas says :

    Ha. We Talk about “That Guy” all the time. Really a stroke of genius to bring such a common and simple American concept to Asia and make yourself immensely rich. How could you hate him really?

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  1. The 7-11 Guy (Part II – David Bowie’s take) « - July 6, 2012

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