人們去新的地方或是外國旅行的時候，他們通常期待發現不同的文化和風俗。對外國人來說， 特別是西方人， 便利商店的重要性在台灣是最驚訝的事情。 在台灣，每個地方都有便利商店。 你有時候會看到好幾個的便利商店在一個街區。 在美國，我們不常去便利商店。 我們只會在其他的超市關門的時候去便利商店。
美國人對便利商店看法和台灣人相反。 台灣有好幾個便利超商連銷店，但是711比較受歡迎。 台灣用英文叫711， 他們說 “Seven.” 台灣的711比美國方便。 人們在711常常閒晃，見面還有吃飯。台灣的711 有各式各樣的服務。如果你有任何需要， 去Seven就對了。
台灣的711 跟美國一樣因為它們都賣食物和小東西，但是台灣的還賣文具。（711還賣電腦的滑鼠！）大部分人要吃飯或是點心的時候他們常常去711因為又快又方便。每天午餐的時候文藻的711非常熱鬧：排到門口外！一些711其他的服務是影印，加值iPass卡，繳費，和買火車票或是高鐵票。（你知道你不但可以用iPass搭捷運或公車， 也可以在好幾個商店買東西， 包括711。怎麼那麼方便啦！）如果你在網路買東西，你可以選擇到超商取貨。 如果白天沒有人在家取貨， 這個選擇很好。最後，你出去玩到很晚，要回家， 你可以去711， 他們還有叫車服務。
Whenever people travel to a new country or place they expect to encounter different cultural norms and customs. For foreigners making their first voyage to Taiwan, especially Western foreigners, perhaps the most surprising thing is the frequency and prevalence of convenience stores. They’re around every corner and you can sometimes find two or three in one block. In the United States, we don’t think much of convenience stores because we only use them when we’re really desperate for something: we’re on a road trip and need a bathroom or a snack, or it’s super late and none of the other stores are open to grab some munchies. Many of our convenience stores are connected to gas stations, so the majority of people who intentionally go there are looking to buy windshield wiper fluid, gas, ice, cigarettes, or pay for their gas with cash.
Taiwan’s view and use of convenience stores is the complete opposite. There are several convenience store chains in Taiwan, but 711 is by far the most frequented. The Taiwanese refer to it as “seven” in English. Taiwanese 711s are much more hospitable than those in the US, and people frequently hang out, meet up, or grab a bite to eat there. Taiwanese 711s also have a multitude of services, so if you ever have a problem, Seven is the answer for everything.
Taiwanese 711s sell food and toiletries like the US, as well as a small selection of stationary/ school supplies in case you’re ever in a bind. (They even sell portable computer mice!) Most people go to Seven if they need a quick, easy premade lunch or snack. The Seven at Wenzao is always hopping during the lunch hour: there’s usually a line out the door. Some of the other services 711 offers are printing, reloading your iPass, paying your bills, and buying tickets for the train or high speed rail. (Did you also know you can not only use your iPass for public transportation, but can also use it to purchase things at a network of stores including 711? How convenient is that?) If you ever order something online and you don’t want it delivered to your house when you’re not home, you can opt to have it shipped to 711. And finally, if you’re ever out late and need a taxi home, who you gonna call? Seven. You can hang out there until the taxi comes because Seven is open 24/7!
Basically, when the Taiwanese say convenient, they really mean convenient.