7/11 has arrived in Khong Chiam!
People here have said that 7/11 is the mark of civilization, so Khong Chiam has officially arrived. Thailand is full of 7/11. It's like Dunkin Donuts in Boston. Inescapable. Now I'm generally a "buy local" "support local business" kind of a gal. I am genuinely concerned that the small local shops nearby are going to suffer a hit and a couple might just go under. So here's a list of reasons why 7/11 is awesome, followed by reasons other small businesses will survive:
7/11 is awesome in Khong Chiam because...
1. It sells books, no one else here does. Okay they're not in English, but other people can buy them.
2. Fat free dairy. Anyone who knows me knows how I feel about this.
3. Air conditioning. Ah the value of food stored in air conditioning. You get crunchy nuts, soft bread, and most importantly...
4. Chocolate! Previously there was no chocolate here. But with air conditioning they can store it so they can sell it. I approve.
5. Prepared food. This is valuable only because my Thai is terrible and greatly limits my eating choices when I'm by myself since menus here are not in English. Handy occasionally, but not such a bit deal.
Reasons local stores will survive...
1. They let locals have tabs. You can buy your groceries and pay when you get paid at the end of the month. This is HUGE.
2. More stuff. Most stores carry a wider range of products than 7/11, so if you need many things you're likely to do all your shopping somewhere else.
3. The number of people (kids included) who have told me they "don't like western food" bodes well for the noodles carts and banana roti man, as the sandwiches may not appeal.
4. This is a small town and everyone knows who owns which store. Plus prices at 7/11 and local places are within 1 baht (4 cents) of each other, so I think locals will actively support their friends.
So come to Khong Chiam! We have 7/11! But we also have tons of local places that are way more awesome, but don't have chocolate.