August 23, 2017
I had a very tiring but productive day today. Because I felt the need to reward myself, I invited my office mates to eat our stress away and to do some after work gossips over Mcdonald’s BFF Fries.
After our dinner at Mcdonalds, we went to this convenience store at a nearby gas station. The place was cozy like other convenience stores at gas stations, except those you find in expressways. They serve cheap pizza and 20 peso coffee where you can drink at a very comfortable sofa. They even have a free wifi! People don’t stay at gas stations longer than 20 minutes so the human count will always be minimal. I started to think that this will be a better alternative to Starbucks.
I have a thing with convenience stores. Maybe this was brought by accumulated fun convenience store stories in the past.
I remembered that sole 711 franchise at North Luzon Expressway when I was a kid. My cousin Gino had an upset stomach so we went to this gas station nearby with a 711. That was my first convenience store experience. It actually felt “first world” during that era.
I also had this phase of staying at a 711 branch near a University in Angeles City to observe people as they enter and exit the store. Like any other convenience stores, most of the people are in a hurry. I wonder where they will go after buying a bag of ice or a box of condoms or a pack of gummy bears? I usually do this fun activity while drinking a cup of cheap hazelnut coffee.
I also had fun convenience store experiences outside the country. I remembered when I was in Japan that I waited for 10 pm to buy a bento box in 711 because it’s cheaper than the 9 pm box. In Indonesia, I bought a very cold energy drink at Indo Maret and told a person I just met that the drink was BTS (Better than Sex). We ended up talking about sex after that. During our last night in Korea, my ex-GF and I counted our last coins and almost begged for money just to buy a Samgak and an instant Ramyun for dinner at CU Mart.
I have waited a lot of people in convenience stores, too. Waiting for friends, families, and lovers. Convenience stores became the most common rendezvous for Filipinos aside from a Jollibee branch. It’s cold, comfortable and clean.
We all have plenty of convenience store stories. What’s your favorite? Please share below. I want to hear from you!
Featured Photo: Bonjour Convenience Store, Maimpis, City of San Fernando, Philippines, August 23, 2017