Korean supermarkets & Shinsaegae, Seoul Bus Terminal - 30

Shinsaegae, Seoul Bus Terminal and Korean supermarkets

In some Korean supermarkets, you bag your things yourself, like in the UK. In other supermarkets though there is always someone bagging your items for you, such as in Shinsaegae, Seoul Bus Terminal. The problem is that, for some reason, the staff bagging the groceries always put everything in too few a bags, to the extent that the bags are likely Pig Meat restaurantto break under the pressure. Go to a ‘Seven Eleven’ convenience store and all common sense is out the window. Without exception, they always use one bag, regardless of how many things you buy.

I realise that maybe you have to ask if you want another bag because you have to pay for it, but on one visit I bought five bottles of 1.5 litre water, one can of Cass Beer, two tins of tuna and four yoghurts. The shop assistant still spent a while forcing everything in the one bag, to the extent that I couldn’t actually carry it in one hand and if I had, there is no doubt at all it would have broken. Logic is sometimes ignored completely to meet with company rules. In other situations Koreans provide services which sometimes are so simple yet brilliant.

Having mentioned the convenience chain stores, 7’11’ in the U.S., (which is now becoming popular in many other countries), there are a few questions that often come up. Why is it called Seven Eleven? The practical idea is that in the beginning they used to be open from 7am to11pm. The thing is, these days Seven Eleven’s are always open twenty-four hours a day, three hundred and sixty five days a year. For this reason, one wonders why 7’11’s still need to have locks on the doors – if they are open always. Equally baffling things I have found while travelling is why there are no English muffins in England, no French fries in France (they’re called frittas there), and why there are no Danish muffins in Denmark. Not everything in the West is logically either.

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