3.23.2014

Costco in Korea

Part of my homesickness manifests itself in desperately looking for any and every thing that reminds me of the states. Given that Korea currently has nine Costcos on the peninsula, it was imperative that I go to one. In talking with others who have ventured out to a Costco, it seemed that the ones up near Seoul were...nuts. Stories abound detailing hour (or even two-hour) long waits for a PARKING SPACE and holiday-level crowds once you finally make it inside. Sounds like a nightmare to me!


Thankfully, there is a Costco south of us in a town called Daejeon (Dayjon is how it's pronounced) and rumor had it that the crowds there were not nearly as bad as in the Seoul area. So I decided I would go to that one rather than risk ridiculous crowds. Thankfully I had a friend here who wanted to go with me! My theory is that lost is much better to tolerate if you're not alone so having someone to go along with me the first time I ventured outside of my little town here was comforting!


There was much debate as to how far away this Daejeon Costco was - maps here rarely give you an accurate account of drive time, primarily because so many people rely on public transportation. However, I planned on buying several items so taking the train/metro wasn't really an option for this trip. I finally guesstimated that the Daejeon Costco was *about* as far away as the Seoul Costcos and off we went! I had a full tank of gas and enough won to get me a good haul at Costco.

Hallelujah! I almost cried.

Camping is HUGE here in Korea.

All of the books were in Korean except one - a Brain Builders workbook.

Their bakery department is fantastic! 

Wonderful produce selections and more of the bakery.

Not something you see at stateside Costcos...

The most expensive salmon filet I've ever seen. 45250₩ equals about $42.00.

The food court was about the same. I've never seen a brisket burger before.

Korea. 

It was a fantastic trip! We were some of the first people there - arriving about 15 minutes before they opened. They even had pastries and juice out for those who were waiting. And I was able to verify that my Costco membership was valid there AND I could use my Costco AMEX. Woohoo!


This was more of a recon trip than anything so I really only bought a handful of things. I plan to go back in a week or two and do a bigger shop. They have many things there that I haven't even seen at Emart or HomePlus or LotteMart. Their Easter goodies selection was amazing as well so I'll need to get back there before Easter.


While we were there, we came across a pair of girls in their mid 20s that were speaking English and it was all I could do not to follow them around, pretending to still be back in the states. And as strong as my homesickness is, I am absolutely falling in love with the food here. And it's warming up nicely right now - supposed to be in the 70s this week while my Kansas peeps are dealing with snow - so there is that. Gotta look for the bright side, right?


Next up will be a post about all of the yummy food here. I'm ruined when we go back to the states unless I can learn how to cook all of this stuff or smuggle an ajumma back with me. I also need to write about my progression with the language. We started formal language classes last week and I'm enjoying it but I want to learn MORE! (and more quickly)




Pau.




- hfs

4 comments:

Crista said...

Silver linings, my friend, silver linings.

Val said...

You are so phenomenal. I love your sense of adventure. I am also really enjoying reading about those adventures.

HMS Defiant said...

Costco today, the giant Seoul street markets tomorrow!

Glenn Mark Cassel said...

Great post!
I remember when we were in Germany in 1968 and did the big Department Store in Kaiserslautern. I like your perspective on things being overseas.