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Costco March 8, 2009

Posted by jorkat in Seoul.


Before we left Canada, the Mulloskeys challenged us to see if we could go more than a month without going to Costco. We made it 11 days. Much like the Mulloskey experience from over 2 years ago, it was quite a trip. Back in Montreal, we lived less than 5 minutes away from Costco by car and could be back home with a full load in less than an hour. Here in Seoul, we clearly didn’t have the luxury of a car and had to rely on the subway and a very basic map from the Costco website which was nowhere close to being to scale. After navigating the impressive subway system, we exited on to the street and had no idea where we were. After walking for over an hour in various directions, we finally swallowed our pride and grabbed a cab. Fortunately the driver understood our destination thanks to our Costco card and we arrived at the 2-storey cathedral.

Upon entering we were impressed by the similarities. Aside from being on 2 floors, the lay-out was a carbon copy of their north american locations. It was also nice to encounter something that reminded us of back home and allowed us to navigate freely through the store. We had been warned that it would be crowded and hectic and that Asians are just as skilled at driving shopping carts as they are cars. Not only was it crowded, but going to Costco in Korea is a family event. As we waited by the curb for our taxi to pick us up we had a Hyundai Sonata pull up next to us and unload a family of 8. I’m not kidding. They will also use 2 carts per family, one for their kids and one for their goods. It was a nightmare. Fortunately we weren’t in any rush and I welcomed the challenge of playing bumper carts for a couple hours with our fellow shoppers.

As we had hoped, it had many of the staple items we needed which were cheaper than most other places we had been to so far. They also had several of our favourites from back home that we couldn’t find anywhere else – these items weren’t as reasonably priced (Honey Nut Cheerios – $11?!). After covering the entire store and filling up our cart to the brim, the reached the check-out and loaded our items on to the conveyor. I gave them my Costco card and asked if they accepted Visa or AMEX as I knew we didn’t have enough cash on us to cover this load. Virtually everything about this Costco was identical to our Costco back home so why wouldn’t they accept AMEX only just as they did in Canada. Unfortunately, they only accepted cash or Samsung (?) credit cards. After loading our goods back into the cart and standing off to the side for a few minutes, I was able to find an ATM and extract the cash necessary to cover the cost – 257,660 wons (approx. $250 CAD). We got back in line, paid for our items and took a cab back to our humble abode. We had left our place at 2pm and walked back in the door at just after 6:30pm.

I also was able to get Katie a birthday present. They had her favourite chocolate treat from Australia known as Tim Tam’s, so I got her a box of those and agreed to shave. It was the best birthday present anyone has ever given her.


1. Kelly - March 8, 2009

Hi Katie and Jordan Wow what a shopping trip and Happy Birthday Kate. Boy I bet you will savor those Honey Nut Cheerios won’t you and did you get any Peanut Butter.

Love the Blogs and you guys be safe

Love Auntie Kelly

2. Dad - March 9, 2009

You really know the way to a womans heart –chocolate and a shave!!
Your parents will be proud that they have instilled such high values!!
How long did the Won’s I got you last??
See you both later
Love Dad

3. Trickett - March 10, 2009

I would have said you could have lasted at least a month without shaving. SHOCKED. My guess would have been that your eyebrows needed tending to before your facial-hair?

Also surprised I see no comments from Coughlin…..

4. Little Lunan - March 10, 2009

“We had been warned that it would be crowded and hectic and that Asians are just as skilled at driving shopping carts as they are cars… Fortunately we weren’t in any rush and I welcomed the challenge of playing bumper carts for a couple hours with our fellow shoppers.”


5. Jaclyn Wilson/Stuteley - March 10, 2009

Hey guys, Looks like you have started an amazing adventure. Thanks for sending the blog info. We look forward to your entries on the blog. Enjoy it all!!

Take care,
Jaclyn, Chris and Logan ; )

6. Sean - March 10, 2009

I hope you tried the Quacamole and Sour Cream there. Both are better than you can find in Canada. Also try a Bulgogi Bake in the cafeteria next time. Like a philly cheese steak baked in a cheese pastry tube.. mmmmmm. Remember what I told you about the onion salad?

7. Sub - March 11, 2009

Jules wants her pictures back.

8. Where the streets have no name « 2009: An Asian Odyssey - March 25, 2009

[…] than anywhere else I’ve been outside of Times Square. Remember our little excursion to Costco a couple weeks ago? Yeah, well that could have been avoided with an address instead of a crappy map […]

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