Flashback Friday Moment of The Week: 3/23/2018

by Just Juan

So I stopped in at the 7-Eleven across from my building at lunch today as I had this thirst for an A&W Cream Soda. As I was grabbing the drink, I noticed a green Fanta amongst the other bright color flavors—Strawberry, Orange, and Pineapple. My immediate thought was “holy s***, they finally brought it to the United States” until I saw it was a new flavor—Fanta Green Apple. I copped it just to try it out and I was disappointed. I’m not sure if it was disappointment in the actual taste of the drink or if it was disappointment in that it was “the drink”. That brings me to this week’s moment in the Flashback Friday series: Fanta Melon soda.

How I first came across this moment? I first discovered melon soda when my co-best friend, Latisha Hambrick, treated me to lunch at Jonathan’s after church in August 2007, shortly before my deployment to Iraq. Melon soda was one of the drink options on the menu. I was instantly hooked upon first taste. The next week in church, I suggested we go back to Jonathan’s so I could get more melon soda—thinking that was the only place that had it—and Latisha laughed and said they had it in all of the convenience stores. I basically lived a minute away from a 7-Eleven so I stopped in and sure enough, I found a melon soda…all dressed up in a fancy Fanta aluminum bottle.

What it meant to me then? It was my introduction to the Fanta brand. I had seen other Fanta flavors in the SEIYU at Fussa Station but this was first look at Fanta Melon. Aside from water and apple juice, I loaded up on Fanta Melon as my beverage of choice during my residency in Japan. All of my friends were hooked on it too. When I’d go out on my adventures in Tokyo, I’d make sure I had 3 of them packed in my bookbag as I hit the streets. They were relatively cheap too, costing ¥130 at all 7-Eleven, FamilyMart, and Lawson locations. I won’t deny that I once raided the 7-Eleven near Higashi-Fussa and bought all 64 bottles they had in stock that day.

What it means to me now? Today, I only have access to Fanta Melon in 2 ways: at the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta or via special delivery from a connect in Japan. I still feel the same way about the beverage. Although I’ve grown to enjoy other Fanta flavors such as Orange and Pineapple, nothing compares to Fanta Melon. There’s a wide gap between it and just about any other carbonated drink on the planet. When I visited Japan in August 2015 to propose, one of the first stops we made once Mercedes and I left the airport was 7-Eleven, where I copped a Fanta Melon. The taste was just as heavenly in 2015 as it was in 2007. It’s still heavenly now even though I haven’t tasted it since I “sampled” it with 15 cups at the World of Coca-Cola last year. The good news for me is that I got a connect in Tokyo that’s going to come through for your boy and send me 20 bottles.

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