16 (Wed) June 2010
Roast Chicken (WHAT)
at Costco (WHERE)
-Yangjae, Seocho, Seoul, Korea-
While I was in high school in Korea during the late 80s, the only source of English-language TV was AFKN (American Forces Korea Network). In addition to network programming from the States, it showed public service announcements (PSAs) during the commercial breaks (in lieu of ads). My favorite one was a message about OPSEC (operation security): a group of servicemen are having a farewell party for one of the members and talking loudly over drinks in a restaurant, saying seemingly innocuous things like, “You ready to ship out this weekend?” and “It’s hot and dry there, so don’t forget to pack a lot of sun screen;” meanwhile, a shady character at the next table is pretending to do a crossword but writing in things like, “DEPLOYSATURDAY” and “DESERTDESTINATION.” But the one that left a lasting impression was a warning about grocery shopping on an empty stomach, which could lead to buying more than necessary and resulting in waste of valuable commissary resources. So, whenever I’m about to buy food, say at Costco, I make sure that I don’t do it hungry.
At the Costcos that I went to in the States, the food court was situated at the entrance to the store, allowing me to get a slice of pizza on the way in.
At the Costco in Yangjae, however, the food court is inside the building on the other side of the cash registers, making it inconvenient to worm my way through the lines of customers waiting to pay, get a slice, and then go back against the flow. So, I’m forced to choose from the ready-to-go items available within the store, like roast chicken. I realize that it makes me look uncouth, but better that than being wasteful.