7 11, heaven.

30th March 2017

Dear Peter,

How are you ol’ pal? Thanks for that roast dinner picture you Watsapp’d me the other day. Impressive. Looked like a tasty feast. It’s about time I told you a little bit more about the cuisine I’ve been sampling.

You’ll agree that one of the most exciting things about coming away was the opportunity to try so many new and delicious dishes. You know what a foodie I am, and how much I like to eat. I’d seen so much on the TV back home about the street food of the East.

Fish balls on sticks, plump steamed dumplings full of moist delight, BBQ’d snake, crispy scorpions – a tempting snack for sure. But nothing quite as popular as the most sought-after dish of the Thai foodie scene.

The best thing about this dish is that you can get it pretty much everywhere. There’s a place called 7 11, open 24 hours a day and when you enter you know the aircon controller here has their game on point. It’s the best. Sometimes I just walk in for a dip back down to reasonable temperatures. The automatic doors open, the divine drop in temperature starts to work it’s magic at solidifying you back to a non-melty mess, and you’re faced with an aisle of beauty products.

Screen Shot 2017-03-30 at 15.44.08Snails feature a lot on this aisle.

Did you know however old a snail gets, they never look a day over 17 years old? Incredible isn’t it? It’s nothing to do with their diet or lifestyle, it’s because housed in those shells on their backs they carry with them the elixir of life. Just a few teeny tiny drops per snail. So for that reason, smearing snail juices all over your face makes you look dead gorgeous.

I’m sure all the snails died very happy knowing that the people who once towered so high above them, standing on them, crushing their shells and ending their lettuce loving life, would one day be smearing dead snail bodies all over their faces to unleash their youthful powers. I can bring you some back if those late nights spent feeding the baby are taking their toll?

Now, back to food. Each store has a vast array of plastic wrapped offerings, but this one wins hands down. It’s the easiest food to eat on the street and it seems to be one of the most popular, I’d heard so much about it from fellow traveller folk.

The 7 11 Cheese Toastie.

I know what you’re thinking Pete, but trust me… this is no ordinary toastie, this is a 7 11 Toastie and it rocked my world.

You take your toastie to the counter, and get this – they have a toastie machine on the till where they cook it for you! Crazy right?! Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine eating a toastie cooked right next to the till in any shop ever. You can buy all your drinks, get yourself some treats, play with some tacky little toys on the shelf, and all the while your toastie is there having it’s cheese melted to oozy perfection. Sainsburys, Tesco, M&S – Take Note! They’re always toasted to earth core temperature. Fool me once toastie, with your escape cheese dripping and burning my bosom, more fool you. Fool me twice, by burning my tongue so I can’t taste anything the rest of the day, more fool me.

Naively, I’d been going for the standard 25BHT Toastie, that’s 58 pence Peter, 58 PENCE. I’d eaten about 234 of these so thought perhaps it time to spice things up a bit, and that I did. I opted for the 35BHT toastie, because I believe in treating yourself at least once every day, every hour, every…. always, and yet again my world was changed.

Double the cheese, double the ham and a hint of nicey spicy-ness which I couldn’t quite place the taste from.

Maybe paprika, maybe a lil garlic, maybe a lil crack and meth sprinkled on top for extra flavour. I’m pretty sure that’s the secret ingredient because I can’t stop eating them now and I find myself waking up at 4am thinking ‘God damn I’d like a toastie right now’. It’s possible I might need help, but there’s a lot more flavours to get through, ones with hotdog sausages, one with egg, one with purple gloop and sweetcorn… and who am I to say no?! I came here to eat and eating it what I shall do.

I visited another 7 11 today in need of a hit, but they were out of stock. However, some bloody genius had put a mash potato machine next to the till that gives you a tasty dollop of powered potato plop and it comes comes with gravy on top! Bodger and Badger would be proud.

It’s been a month so far, and with all these world culinary wonders I continue to be in awe every day of everything the East has to offer. In an ideal situation, I’ll return to the UK when our supermarkets have caught on to this simple, world-changing, consumer-satisfying, profit-booming product offering, and HURRAH! Shopping will never ever have to be boring again.

Sending you much love,

Cat x

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