We’ve all been there. You run down to the convenience store during your lunch break, buy a delicious bento box, then dash back up to the office lunchroom, anxious to indulge in your cheap yet hearty meal. But then you open it up only to discover that you’ve been carrying it sideways the whole time, and everything has spilled over to one side, causing a jumbled, mixed-up mess.
It appears as though Taiwan has found the answer to this catastrophic problem: bags that make it impossible for a bento lunch to turn sideways, or any other direction that would spoil its deliciousness. How does it work? Watch the video and prepare to be amazed.
The discovery happened when Japanese Twitter user @harupaca went to Taiwan for a Toho Project dojin convention. While he was there, he happened to stop by a 7-Eleven to get a lunch, and what he found changed his life forever:
▼ “Found this at a 7-Eleven in Taiwan. This revolutionary bag doesn’t let your bento turn sideways when you carry it! I want this to come to Japan!”
はるぱか@6/14サンクリA03 (@harupaca) June 06, 2015
Do you see how the “revolutionary bag” works? If not, check out this video. It’s in Chinese, but the bag itself transcends all language:
Japan prides itself on convenience stories living up to their name as much as possible, letting you pay your bills there, have packages shipped there, and always being sure to throw in whatever plasticware you need to eat the food you buy without even asking.
So you would imagine that Japanese netizens would be anxious for this added convenience to come to their stores too. Surprisingly, that was not the case for many. Here are some comments:
“It looks nice, but it’s probably more wasteful than a normal bag.”
“Yeah, especially if you’re only putting one bento per bag in it.”
“I can’t even use it to throw away my trash.”
“What if the spoon or chopsticks fall out?”
“It’s a nice idea, but I’d rather the bag cover up what I buy.”
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and forget that Japanese people often use their plastic bags for storing their trash in to throw away later (since there are so few public trashcans), and concealing their purchases (since letting other people see what you buy is “embarrassing” for many).
But still, there were many others praising the bento-friendly bag, and hoping to see it used in Japan too. Which camp will reign supreme? Visit a 7-Eleven in Japan in a year or so and buy a bento to find out.