(Updated in 2019, Original is from 2008. But I assume there is a recession right on the horizon.)Considering the economic turmoil that is engulfing our country, I thought I would take some time out from my secret underground martial arts to the death tournament and let you all in on a little secret. I want to offer you a cost effective way of planning a holiday or vacation without having to go too far. A little gem I have hidden in my back pocket whenever I want to take a vacation but can’t afford to is go is to head on over to your nearest convenience store or Kwik Stop.
Here’s a list of why your Kwik Stop may be better than going on some long expensive vacation:
1. You’ll get to see at least one foreigner and he’s usually behind the counter. Some just want you to “hurry up and buy” (90’s kids know what movie that’s from) but others actually have interesting stories. I once talked to an Iraqi who told me how Saddam would have acres of deer and other animals being fed only acorns and high quality feed especially for his meals.
2. Exotic foods abound; I’ve found Kwik Stop’s that serve pigs feet in vinegar, pig ear, pig…? Make it into a game and have your kids find the grossest thing. Another game we like to play is called antiques: Find the oldest expired item in the store – loser has to eat it!
3. You can relax with a wide selection of cigarettes and beer, also some of the finest wines such as Cisco, Night Train, and Boones Farm (I hear the farm is organic now). Mommy and that some-time daddy can get a 100% recycled bag and relax behind the store with a drink. It’s a great place to meet locals.
4. Gambling: Many convenience stores have lotto or scratch offs. If you find one that has a digital slot machine you may be able to work something out with the owner and get paid real money for hitting 777. This is illegal so you may have to come in a few times so the owner knows who you are. It helps if you come in barefoot and reeking of alcohol this way he knows for sure you’re not a cop.
5. Entertainment: Many Kwik Stops offer a wide variety of adult films behind the black curtain in the side room. If that’s not your thing, many have a cctv security monitor you can watch. Also, there are plenty of local free newspapers you can read, it give you a great feel for the rich local culture.
6. Finally, like in most tourist destinations you will be ripped off with outrages prices. But it’s OK, this is your vacation you deserve that $3 coke and the $15 six pack of beer. Look at it as contributing to the local economy.
Going to a Kwik stop is also a very secure thing, for example if you get mugged which you probably will there are always western union machines in the store where family members can send you money. The best part of the day to plan your trip is from 10am-2pm, this way you can avoid the line of tourists going to and from work.
Anyway, that’s all for now! Bon voyage!