Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Emart Phenomenon



Ok, normally I'd make fun of someone who dedicated an entire post to Emart, Korea's version of Walmart, except with 5 floors of shopping goodness, but this is an exception...


I used to live in a moderately busy area of North Seoul and walking down the sidewalk was only challenging late at night, when drunken old men and women stumbled home from the subway, or local drinking spot. However, 3 days ago Emart opened on my block....ON my block. I can literally hear the Emart "stickmen" or traffic controllers continuously blowing whistles and yelling at pedestrians from my apartment.


On the one hand, it's great because prior to the Emart opening, I didn't have anywhere to shop for groceries on a wide scale, aside from the Hyundai Department Store grocery level, which is a bit pricey and slightly limited. Emart has everything from peanut butter, to whole bean coffee, to hiking boots and backpacks and having it so close means we can buy lots cause we don't have to carry it very far. Like tonight, for instance, John carried home a 7kg bag of laundry soap because it was on sale for the Canadian equivelant of $10, regularly priced at about $25. The opening sales are drawing massive crowds. Which leads me to my drawbacks....


I can no longer walk down the sidewalk with ease. At 9:50 this morning, 10 minutes before Emart opened its doors, there were approximately 60-70 people lined up to get in. These 60-70 people are waiting on the sidewalk...infront of my house. Not only that, but these people are shopping all day, everyday, in massive quantities. Nothing is sold in packs of 1 or 2, but more like 6 or 8. Kleenex for example is wrapped for sale with six boxes attached together, super cheap, but someone's gotta carry this stuff home. That with their diapers in cases of 2, toilet paper in 24 roll packs, new quilts, shelving units, TVs, DVD players, etc. All of these things are being carried down the sidewalk infront of my house. Coupled with the hundreds of people milling around outside, my front yard makes for quite the interesting obsticle course. John and I have taken to crossing the road and taking the long route, which has since become the short route due to all the people.


Needless to say, things have just been cranked up a notch in our day to day world.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Marcus said...

Hi! Andrea~~ I'm Marcus. Do you remember me? I live in Ssangmun station, nearby E-mart Mia. If you miss me, call. my phone number 010-2724-3450. I miss my friend Robert, Andrea. Please call me, I'll wait your husky voice. kkk :)

11:22 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Man alive...it's Marcus! ;)

11:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Marcus I remember you!!!

Classic E-Mart/Korea post, quite humorous dij,

Kev

3:48 PM  

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