Thursday, September 12, 2019

failure at Gwangjang Market (with consolation prize)

I went to Gwangjang Market today to find Gillette deodorant—something I haven't done in a few years because my buddy Tom, who normally hits the Philippines every summer and winter, offers to buy me a half-year supply of Gillette Clear Gel deodorant for cheap every time he's in the PI. This summer, though, Tom said he couldn't find any of what I wanted, so he came back empty-handed. Whether this is just some sort of resentment-fueled, passive-aggressive action on his part, I'll never know. Upshot: I recalled that Gwangjang Market had sellers with piles of foreign goods, including overpriced deodorant (W7000 at the market, which is almost twice the price of the same deodorant back in the States), so I cabbed out there today, in the sporadic rain.

Imagine my surprise when I saw that the sellers were either all gone or shunted somewhere else. Everything's been taken over by food stalls and makeshift sit-down eateries, which have expanded all the way to the edges of the market (at many of the market's gateways, the food sellers used to be just inside, with the foreign-product sellers planted right at the entrance/exit area). It could be that the foreign-product merchants are still around, but I walked all over the crowded marketplace and didn't see a single one.

So I went home and ordered my deodorant via Amazon, happy to find out that Amazon does ship deodorant to Korea. I made this a rush order, which increases the per-stick price to somewhere north of Gwangjang Market's old prices, but a man's armpits will brook no delays. (Actually, I don't need deodorant that quickly: I've got a whole stick of deodorant sitting inside my toiletry bag, so I'm set for the upcoming hike. That said, I want to have a full supply of Gillette on hand upon my return. And my apologies to those of you who are currently boycotting Gillette for its recent politically correct nonsense.)

But the trip to the market wasn't a complete bust: I bought a bag of dried figs.

They're not very good; they taste and feel a bit like paper, so eating one of these figs is like eating an origami Pikachu. Very bland. Very bleh.


John Mac said...

Damn, you really are a "glass half full" kind of guy. Finding dried figs that taste like paper kept your trip from being a bust? I would have been doubly disappointed.

I had to buy a Gillette product yesterday myself. Needed razors and all I could find were from a company I don't want to support. Bastards shaved me anyway.

Kevin Kim said...

I should've added "alas" to the beginning of the paragraph to make clear that "very bland, very bleh" indicated disappointment, not joy.