Saturday, December 09, 2006

Public Access

After a little shopping in our local Newcore Outlet department store, we went down into the basement Kim's Club supermarket - part of Newcore unless I'm mistaken - to buy some food for a friend's housewarming tomorrow. We were surprised to be politely denied access by a staff member at the entrance - we couldn't take our Newcore bag with the clothes we'd bought in the floors above inside - instead it seemed we'd have to put them in a locker nearby. The refused entry was even more curious because we'd already been inside with our bag once.

Not being immediately able to locate a 100 won coin for a locker I was forced to stand outside the barrier to the supermarket area while my girlfriend shopped for a couple of items inside. Tempted as I was to adopt the kind of Taekwondo stance towards the staff member that South Korean guards adopt at the DMZ, I instead opted for a slumped against the wall type look about three feet away which I vainly hoped might register my disgust at not being allowed inside. We were really going to shoplift food in our small clothes bag? Do Koreans even think about such things?

At least we weren't the only ones to be surprised. During my wait two Koreans were turned away at the barrier and one woman looked completely perplexed at the occurrence. Anyway, there's not much incentive for us to want to shop there again.

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