🇰🇷 Near my place I have this small Korean supermarket, they mostly sell imported goods from South Korea but they also have homemade stuff, like the famous kimchi.
Kimchi the centerpiece of almost all meals in Korea is not only cabbage, but it can also be done with raddish and other vegetables.
Usually, whenever I go there I can’t help but crack a smile, there’s always something funny going on. Either because I’m using some Korean words and I catch them by surprise or because I get that feeling of being teleported to my dear South Korea for a few minutes 😌
🥬 The radish man
On one occasion I was in a rush to get to my class but wanted to buy some radish (or turnip, I can never tell which one is it) kimchi.
I got in, greeted the woman behind the counter, opened the fridge right in front of her, took a kimchi out, and proceeded to hand her over the cash.
Immediately upon seeing I had taken the turnip kimchi and not the regular one, the interaction started:
- The turnip kimchi? 🤔
- Yeah! 😋
- Oh! 😮
I do not why but she was so surprised that I was taking the turnip and not the classic cabbage kimchi. She probably doesn’t know I’ve traveled so many times to the country from the eastern sea, I’m half native 🤭
🛒 The funny clerk
Most of the time when I go to the store I get the same old clerk (the woman from the story above was an exception). He’s very friendly and he’s always watching South Korean TV programs whenever I go in. Upon seeing a customer enter the store, he’ll stand up from his chair and pay no attention to the small TV.
I’m a big fan of Korean dumplings 🥟 (very different from Japanese gyoza) and I usually get the beef version. This time, destiny had a different plan:
- You don’t have the beef dumplings? 😔
- Erh… (looks at the fridge) I’m afraid not 🙂
- hmmm For this time I’ll get the BBQ version but you know I like the others best 😉
- haha! 😁
This store allows you to collect stamps for every 10€ of purchase, giving you -5€ after ten times. So a 5% discount for recurring customers. Not bad! So, of course, whenever I go I try to at least get to ten euros.
I dropped the bag of frozen dumplings on the counter, that’s 10.5€ ✅
I took out of the fridge 2 turnip kimchi cases (homemade, by the way), that’s a total of 5€ ✅
I’m off 4,5€, curses! 😤 I searched the store quickly and the only thing I could think of was the Korean rice wine. It’s a little bit pricey but it’s very good 🍶
The clerk, as he sees me trying to find more stuff to purchase, immediately recognizes what I’m after… the discount 😼
I drop the bottle of rice wine and ask out loud: Will this be enough? 😰
As he scans the bottle into the machine we both stare at the screen looking at the successful 20€ total sum ✅
We both crack a laugh 😁
He stamps my card, thanks me for the purchase and I’m on my way.