Tuesday, July 20, 2021

things I've bought

My buddy Tom finally convinced me to sign on for Coupang, a Korean service that feels a bit like a cross between GMarket and Amazon. Find an item and order it. For the longest time, I had the Coupang app on my phone, downloaded when Tom first started telling me about how wonderful it was (I had coworkers years ago who told me they'd been using it, so I've known about Coupang for a long time). 

I was unable to complete registration, though, because the name as written on my bank account is not the same as how it's written on my alien-registration card. I rectified that problem yesterday when I was at the bank to make my monthly wire transfer (I'm paying down my credit card; I've been free of scholastic debt since last Christmas, and it still feels wonderful): I asked the teller if it would be possible to change the name on my bank account from being written in Korean to being written in English. It took a few minutes, and I had to sign a form or two, but the process was pretty painless. With my bank-account name now matching my alien-card name, I finished the registration process for Coupang and set about ordering some things. "So what did you buy?" I hear you bray.

Got myself one of those pullup bars that you hang in a door frame, and I also got a 2-fer set of 10-kilogram weights. My shoulder still hurts, but I can now do biceps, triceps, shoulder, and lat work in the comfort of my own place, without having to make a spectacle of myself in our park. Tom says that, ever since he's been on Coupang, he hasn't gone shopping anywhere because Coupang also delivers groceries, which makes his wife happy. I don't know if I'll ever get to the point where I order that much, that constantly (I like grocery shopping), but I'm beginning to see the utility of a service that generally delivers for free, and (according to Tom) very efficiently. Tom told me to "get off GMarket," which he thinks will be gone in two years. Tom generally has a good sense for businesses, and while I don't think GMarket will be gone by 2023, he's probably right about how good Coupang is. If Coupang has certain hard-to-find items like Gillette armpit deodorant, that'll make me very happy.

So the retail therapy continues. Yes, I'm a consumer in a consumerist society, worshiping in yet another temple of consumerism, but the people who regularly complain about consumerism are no less consumers (and hypocritical ones at that) of their slave-labor-produced iPhones and their hoity-toity Starbucks lattes.

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