Where I grew up, in Texas, it was really hot. Most summer days would see the mercury cracking 100 degrees or more (Fahrenheit that is, I'm talking 37+ degrees in Celsius). Not only was it very hot, but the air was dry too. Hot, dry and dusty. Oh how I miss it...the sand storms in the spring time, the dust in my eyes, in my ears, in my nose...everywhere!!! Okay, so maybe I don't miss that aspect of my Texas home too much, but it was because of this weather that I discovered the joy of the 7-11 Slurpee on a summer day or any day really.
As luck would have it, my parents chose the location of our house very wisely. We were within walking distance of a friendly neighbourhood 7-11 store. This meant when I was younger, my neighbourhood friends and I would walk down to the 7-11 together to get our Slurpee fix. Everyone had their favourite flavour combinations. Sometimes we could afford a small Slurpee, sometimes a larger one. Size didn't matter--we just had to have some!
When I hit high school and got a driver's license and a car, I would stop at the 7-11to get petrol and would almost always grab a Slurpee. By this stage in my life, the Slurpee and I were pretty inseparable. It wasn't part of my daily routine, but I liked the comfort of knowing it was just down the street if I wanted one.
Then something terrible happened. I moved to another Texas city to attend university and there weren't any 7-11s. No 7-11s meant no Slurpees. I lived in this city for 5 years while I attended Uni (that's Aussie for College). Each time we'd get a break, I'd return to my hot and dusty hometown and make sure that I drank as many Slurpees as humanly possible. It wasn't easy being away from my beloved Slurpee for such long periods. I coped though. I survived. I got by.
Next step for me was a move overseas to Argentina. The excitement of living in another country, of meeting new people, of speaking a different language distracted me from missing the cold, icy goodness of my old friend Slurpee.
Then like a whirlwind, I met the Handsome Australian and I followed him home to Australia. When I first arrived in Australia, my long term plans were unknown. I didn't know if things would work out with the Handsome Australian or if my stay would be short term. One thing was clear from the beginning of my stay in Australia though--if things did work out with the Handsome Australian and I did end up staying here for a long, long time it would be okay. How did I know this? Because on my very first day here I was walking through the center of Melbourne and there it was, like a beacon of light calling out to me--a friendly neighbourhood 7-11 store. Now that I think about it, the day was a bit on the hot side. Yes, it was perfect Slurpee weather. I went inside and found the same Slurpee machines that I was used to from home. Even the flavours made sense to me!! Eureka!!! In this one little corner of the CBD, they spoke my language. Slurpee language!!!
To this day, I think if there weren't 7-11s in Melbourne, if there weren't Slurpees, I may not have been able to stay. Seriously. No Slurpee = Deal Breaker.