Saturday, February 26, 2005

grocery store "serbice"

I'm really into the "service" in Korea. There always seems to be a little discount or some kind of bonus material. I bought a phone card and got a vitamin C drink. I bought a couple bottles of water at the corner store and the guy gave me a couple hundred won discount, and last week I bought some face cream and I got a bunch of samples.

The LG Mart is by far the most peculiar with their "service" that I've seen so far. First of all, they always have samples and the employees try to get you to buy certain special items. Sometimes as an incentive they use packing tape and attach additional items to the package. Sometimes these are related items (like yesterday when I got an extra small ice cream attached to my big ice cream and an extra milk attached to my soy) and sometimes they aren't. For example, you're buying ramen (ramyen in Korea), of course it makes sense that a set of sponges should be attached. You're buying beverages. Why not get the big bottle of Pocari Sweat, it comes with a glass taped to the top. If you buy a few more you'll have a whole set. I'm searching for the perfect cereal. Why not go with the almond flakes? They have a pencil case, a Frisbee, and more cereal taped to it!


Mr. Mo said...

Wow! You have so accurately captured the sights and sounds of Seoul. I lived there for a couple of years in the 80s and so many of the things you say are exactly as I remember them.
I lived in Chun Cheon for at time and used to love going out for dalkalbi. Do they still spit the bones on the floor? I'll give you a tip on a great place to go eat if your courageous. On the blue line in Seoul go to Shin Dang and look for/ask around for "duk poggi". There is a particular alley in the area that specializes in it and it is absolutely awesome. It's pretty spicy and very unique but I'll bet you could make a great posting out of it. Best of luck in Seoul.

misskoco said...

I was hoping to capture the tastes and random experiences of this place, but your comment reminds me...

I used to stay up late at night and listen to my city. In bed, looking at the ceiling, I’d follow the cars down the street with my eyes, only knowing where they were by the strips of light zooming across from wall to wall. If it was raining the cars would make splashing hushes. Sometimes a fire truck went by, or someone slammed their door shut across the street, and sometimes someone was talking loud below my window and I could hear someone else's drama
I used to love sleeping at my grandma’s (Vera and Tanya, then just Vera) because the bus went down the street across the courtyard of her high rise apartment… and because she always loves me. Pulling up to the stop it made a soothing “shhhhhhh.” I’d smile as the sound bounced in the curve of her building and I’d drift
When I moved to New York it was hard not to hear my city, and I often found myself shutting my windows tight trying to keep out the sound of all the people doing everything. There was always so much to do, so much to see
From my apartment windows, the colors of the sun rising were intense. I couldn’t believe the colors. I just couldn’t believe the colors. The most amazing thing I’ve ever seen popping all over me and bursting all around
In Brooklyn, it seemed that every truck in North America wasn’t finished its journey until it roared past my apartment sometime between one and four AM. The soot collected on my windowsill until it turned completely black. That year I was never quite able to drown out the noise in my head or get used to the sounds at night
In Seoul it’s quiet. There are no cars rushing by my window, there are no shadows to watch dancing. The land of the morning calm is mostly still throughout the night. The rarely broken silence is typically the drunken footsteps of a neighbor hurrying up the steps, a street cat in heat, or the click of my heater turning on.

There are times I miss my old room when I was a child and the sounds of sixth street--or my fabulous lifestyle in The East Village, or the divalicious apt. 2305 of John Street--but I'm really content now and I enjoy waking up to go play in my new city