Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Convenience Culture

One of the biggest (+)'s of living in Korea is the culture of convenience. Restaurants will send ajossis on scooters to your door without a delivery charge (even if you only order a $3 kimchijjigae), and come back later to collect the plates. They even deliver McDonald's here. If you order something online from a Korean company, expect it to arrive at your doorstep within a couple of days.

Down at the old rickety Wondang Markets the breezes of modernisation are slowly wafting in to this back alley of commerce. The singular and otherwise unremarkable not-so-super-market of the area now offers free home delivery of groceries. All you have to do is buy at least $30 worth of stuff, pile it into a basket and write your address and phone number on an attached piece of paper. The ajossis will then look at the papers and put the baskets in different rows according to location. Although in true ajossi fashion, they do feel the urge to over-complicate the operation by debating with each other as to the optimal placement of delivery basket.
When Operation Placement of Basket has been completed, you can do some further shopping or go straight home without having to carry your milk, juice and rice with you. The basket will arrive at your house around 2 hours later, complete with a tobacco-fragranced annyeonghaseyo.

My prediction for the year 2035 is that Korea will be the first country to start using delivery scooter-robots.

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