Travel Vicariously through the Fitzgerald's

We are happy to provide our experiences as a stay-cation for you! If you have any questions feel free to ask. We have a lot to learn and lots to see!


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Day 3 - The E mart Experience

Hello followers! We decided to make today a super adventurous day. After spending about 30 minutes trying to decipher the subway map, the city map, and the bus routes, we decided we weren't getting anywhere. We picked up all the maps, our bus card, and the Korean phrase book and headed out.

I'm going to back track for a moment. Saturday while we were out I made the comment that I hope one day we will have clear blue skies and some sun. This is because it has been overcast since we arrived. Well, today the sun came out. No clear blue skies but the sun managed to slip through the haze. It was brutally hot and muggy. I would like to retract my earlier statement. I will be happy with overcast and a light cool breeze.

The maps at the bus stop have the route stops in Korean and English. Yeah! That was a relief. We picked the 1550 bus that stops right in front of E-mart. Remember, this is Korea's equivalent of Walmart. I will describe it shortly. So we get on the bus and show the driver on the map where we would like to go. He was super helpful! We took the scenic route it seemed and guess what! We spotted....wait for it....MCDONALDS! Along with Baskin Robbins, Subway, Pizza Hut, Dominos, and Papa Johns. When he dropped us off he even pointed to the other bus stop that we would need to return. He was a swell guy!

So back to E-mart. The store sign read that it opened at 10 am. We had 25 minutes to spare. Yes we were all up by 6 am this morning. We decided to walk around the block and scope out this area. 15 minutes later we were back at the front doors. I guess because there were so many people waiting they opened the doors early. Okay, let me get to the juicy details of this store. It has about 5 floors with these flat escalators that allow you to get on with your cart to go up or down. To get a cart you have to insert a 100 WON coin into this little gadget on the cart so that it will unlock. It's kind of like a deposit to make sure they get their carts back. The basement level is the grocery store and food court. 1st floor has clothing. 2nd floor has kitchen ware, electronics, and appliances. We didn't even make it to the 3rd or 4th floor. They save their boxes that the merchandise came packaged in and they let the customers use it to take their stuff home. By the way, we are SO buying a car! Navigating it will be a whole other adventure. Most items are priced the same as America. In this first trip to the store we spent over $200!

I can't wait to go grocery shopping tomorrow.  Our fridge is still pretty bare. I am so proud of us for getting out and conquering one part of public transportation! Well, it is only 3 in the afternoon and I'm sure we'll be going out again before nightfall.


  1. Smart Koreans...I like the old deposit system. :)

    Score on finding the myriad "American" restaurants!! woot, woot!

  2. Also....$200 at E-mart doesn't sound too bad. Now, if you go to "Won General" or "Won Tree" and spend that much, I'll be impressed. :) haha