Singapore Stories: Tour of 7-Eleven

[Photographs: Yvonne Ruperti]

I always check out convenience stores when I travel, particularly 7-Elevens. Generic as they may look on the outside, scan the shelves and you'll be fed a glimpse into local "delights." In the ginormous American stores you've got pretty much any kind of junk food: string cheese, nachos, the Big Bite hot dog, beef jerky, and more. In Italy you'll find more refined items like pasta, cheese, and local wine. In Japan (my favorite one yet) you'll find a buffet of beautiful packaged sushi, salads, and local beer. Not bad for a chain convenience store.

Though the shops are much smaller here, 7-Eleven Singapore makes an effort to appeal to local tastes, especially in their branded products. They're also everywhere. I've got four within a five-minute walk of my place.

To be honest, even if I'm on my way home from a night of drinking, not much of what the 7-Elevens offer here is madly appealing (aside from the instant noodles and the instant mashed potatoes that I've scorched my hands on). I've seen much better offerings in other countries. I was expecting so much more given the fact that I'm in such a food obsessed country. I guess when there's such terrific 24-7 hawker food on every corner, convenience store Singapore snack food is a hard sell.