This is part of a three or four part blog series. These posts will be interactive on my website (https://lifeofpablo.com) . I am in the process of rebuilding my website so stay tuned.
Here I am in South Korea getting a snack at a convenience store. Everytime I go to one, I reflect on convenience stores back in the United States. Convenience stores in the United States are usually gas stations at the same time. Living in California you see convenience stores as standalone locations more often. Convenience stores back home get a bad wrap because they sell not so healthy food or are simply over priced. It's not so much in Korea. Yes, there are things that are overpriced but not as bad as you would see in the United States. Korean Convenience Stores are a whole different experience..
♥️KOREA IS LIVING IN THE FUTURE♥️
Common convenience stores are GS25, Nice to CU and 7/11. They are all over the place. It's hard not to walk from one corner of a block to another corner of the same block without passing a convenience store. This is pretty consistent in most of Korea. The cities of Seoul and Chuncheon are good examples. Two or three years since the pandemic, many did stay open pretty late or open 24 hours. They are just there whenever you need something. You can buy a snack, a beer (or many), toiletries and more! I've even found socks after my shoes got soaked in the rain. Prices are not overly expensive taking in consideration that the exchange rate between USD and WON are in the favor of the American consumer such as myself.
The experience at every convenience store is different. You never know what you'll find. I'm not sure how it is decided on what is carried in each store. I do love the element of surprise.
Korean Convenience Stores will fill the void in many aspects of life. They are considered important in Korean Culture and Socialization. You'll often find tables inside and outside of the store. I find it hard to find a normal bar establishment. Even if I did find a bar, it could be expensive or hard to get into. Convenience Stores are a meeting point to socialize especially if there is seating available at the location you visit. I really enjoy getting a beer or a few with friends and just talk about our day, our hopes & desires, and just having tipy conversations. I've had some really deep moments here with others. One of my favorite moments was finding a convenience store in a large park and making my ramen right then and there!
What really shocked me was the Seoul WorldCup Stadium when I went to a soccer match. There I found a GS25 with prices similar to one you find on a random street. (Click to zoom in!)
Overall, I'm happy with convenience stores here! I sure will miss them!
I will share this information in a lesson in the near future with others.
Here are my favorite items I get from the convenience store:
- Small pack of coffee
- A cup of ice - use it for any drink you need to make cold (or colder.)
- Snacks such as fried
What is nice about convenience stores is being able to cook instant ramen in-store seconds right after you buy it. (Click to zoom in!)
There are so many options. Here are a few! (Click to zoom in!)