Growing up on Windy Hill Road in Smyrna/Marietta we had the joy of having a 7-11 just seven houses down from us at the Sandtown Rd intersection. We would pass it as we walked to Labelle Elementary School and then we would ransack it on the way home. I never really knew how lucky I was to live so close to a 7-11. We could play pac-man, asteroids, and galaga, drink big-gulps and eat candy. If it was a good day, we would then leave and go home through the woods, acting like Luke Skywalker as we were amped on sugar.
Well, there are few 7-11s in Thailand…actually there are 4,402 7-Elevens in Thailand, 1,500 of which are in Bangkok, really, I am not making this up. FYI, if you come to Thailand, just ask for a 7 (sa-win). They don’t say the 11 part.
Today, 7-11 has provided for me another memory to add to the list.
Anyways, we have one right outside of our neighborhood that shares land with a gas-station. Today while I was out, Sherry called me and told me she needed a Coke to help her stay on her game during Thai language school. So I stopped to get her one. I walked back to the back corner to look at all the “cokes”, you southern people know what I mean. While I was looking, an old man, looking very nice I must say, walked up to me and yelled out “Lie-chew-a-mong laaw”, which means “It’s been many hours already”, then he hit me in the arm close to my chest. Now, it didn’t hurt, but I had to assess the situation really fast.
2. Who is this guy? Is he a friend? No. You know, friends hit like that and it is good. But if a stranger does it, this is not good.
a. how old is he–maybe 68
b. is he crazy? I really think so
c. can I take him? Yes, I could sweep his legs, and then do a leg drop across his chest. (We Americans have watched too much kung-fu movies and think all old white hair asian men know magic and can crush you with a single flick of the pinkie, then disappear leaving behind only a cloud of smoke.)
3. Should I act on situation survey 2.c.? No
4. Is anyone seeing this? Yes. A lady taking inventory is right there.
a. is she doing anything about it? no, just wide-eyed
b. should I ask her to help? no, what’s left of my man card would be revoked on the spot by the dude selling squid from his motorcycle right outside the door.
Get the coke fast and walk on.
Where is he now? He is behind me–I had my eyes on him–
What is he doing? looking pretty mad with a strange grin that comes and goes.
Move on quickly to the front counter maintaining composure but add a little strut or something, anything to look somewhat tough, confident, and OK about walking away from a fight with a 68 year old dude. But don’t look too tough, cause you will look really stupid. Just don’t do anything, just walk normally. Man, how can I walk normally now, I already started to try and look together and tough. Just go. Stop squeezing the plastic coke bottle, relax, walk normal and check out. Slow down. Your starting to run. Chill. Go ahead and get your wallet out. No, wait, don’t, he may hit me with a Slurpee or something and take it. OK, keep it in my pocket. OK, fool, take it out now, you are at the counter…where is he? I don’t see him. Are people seeing me not seeing him? Are they on my side? Will they let me know if he is up to something. Man, where did he go? Oh, my change. Say thanks and go home. AHHHHH I tried to get in the left side of the car again, we drive from the right…did they see me do that? Should I just put the coke in the passenger seat and play it off? No, who does that, who places a single coke in the passenger seat and then walks around and gets in the vehicle? I mean I am from Georgia and all, but I don’t love Coke that much. It’s not like a date or something. Just walk around and get in…OK…done…go home.
When it is all said and done, I think this crazy man walks out looking sane compared to me.