Jul 14, 2010

The 7-Eleven coupon

The other week we went out to eat at a branch of the fashionable Bellagio restaurant chain in Beijing. The Taiwan-themed restaurant quite appropriately had some newspapers from Taiwan in the waiting area. I paged through one of them as I waited for the hostess to get to our number.

On the front page of the China Times was a 7-Eleven coupon for buy one get one free:

I wasn't quite sure what products the coupon was for, or if I could even use it outside of the ROC, but I decided what the heck. I semi-discretely used my pocket knife to cut out the coupon and stuff it in my pocket for another day. The other waiting patrons stared as I appeared to be destroying the newspaper for no good reason.

Fast forward to several days later. On a trip to my local Beijing 7-Eleven, I asked one of the stock boys about the coupon. The stock boy had no idea if I could use it, so he went to the back room to consult with his manager.

Short story, I couldn't use the coupon. As I suspected it was only valid in Taiwan. So much for that whole one country, two systems malarkey. As far as 7-Eleven is concerned, it's definitely a two country, two system deal.

It was kind of funny though, when the stock boy came out, he said to me, "Even if we did accept this coupon, ain't you seen here, it's already done expired. Look here, the valid dates are 99/7/2 - 7/11. Fool, you done brought an eleven year-old coupon."

Check it out:

I didn't argue with the stock boy, but I'll point out here that it says "99" because in Taiwan, they start counting years from 1912, the birth year of Chiang Kai-shek, the supreme leader and founder of the nation. Or something like that.

I can't help but wonder what all that great loot is on the coupon. They had none of the wonderful products pictured on the coupon at my local Beijing 7-Eleven.

Here's the selection on the

From left to right, I think this is what everything is:
  1. a milky Japanese liquid called "Dakara"
  2. another milky drink called "多多"
  3. probably very similar to 1 and 2
  4. "可口" brand dog biscuits / people cookies
  5. half and half, maybe?
  6. A drink called "EP". EP, of course, stands for "ectopic pregnancy", an abnormal pregnancy that occurs outside the uterus. That's creative birth control for ya!


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