The clothes in Korea are a little different to back home. Sometimes the English on the t-shirts makes no sense and when you find a pretty dress you go to look at the back and just see random frills on it. The clothes are normally unfitted and unflattering to westerners. The Korean’s can pull off anything. No matter what, they always look good! I had a t-shirt tailored to make it more fitted, which cost me ₩8,000. Paul had two shirts tailored which cost ₩50,000, which was a bit much, but the tailor done a very good job.
Why did they have to ruin this green top with the frills?
I have been to Gangnam station market for some clothes, accessories and to look for some shoes. There are accessory shops everywhere, which sell jewellery, hair accessories, tights and even socks. They are cheap and not bad quality either. The only downside about some clothing is that it is one size fits all, or small, medium or large. However sometimes the clothes are elasticated, which is mainly the skirts and shorts.
The shoes are measured in mm and it is apparently hard, however to find shoes that are above a Uk size 7 in stores. You can get shoes made for you in Itaewon, however this will probably cost quite a bit. I also got told that the Korean shoes are not great quality and to not buy them if they are over ₩10,000 as they break within a matter of months. On the plus side, Converse are cheap out here (it’s even better when they are on sale £11.00).
When you go food shopping (my local ones are; Lotté Marte or Home Plus: aka Tesco), the Koreans seem to be very conscious of the environment, as they hardly ever use plastic bags (they sometimes charge you per bag). I recommend taking backpacks or bags for life when shopping.
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Although, when you go shopping you take all your stuff out of your trolley, just to put it back in and then pack it into cardboard boxes, provided from the supermarket. They also provide tape (as boxes are flat packed), scissors (to cut the tape) and even plastic ribbon to help close up the box if you pack too much in it... Which most weeks happens to Paul and I. However now we have a good stock of food that will last a very long time. If you go to home plus, they also sell Tesco own brand food, which when on offer I would suggest bulk buying as it doesn’t stay on offer for very long.
I would suggest going to a market for fruit and vegetables, as the supermarkets can be overpriced. However sometimes they will have special offers and it’s your choice where you buy them from. Both fruit and vegetables are expensive, but buying from the markets will make a difference in your purse. Also if you can, buy bread from a bakery. The bread in Korea is pretty sweet as it is made from milk and sugar. Granary bread is hard to come by, but the bakery should have some and this doesn’t taste as sweet as the white bread. Some do come with currents in, so be careful when buying! From going to the same bakery most weeks, Paul and I were given a free tasty treat (which was amazingly good!). Sometimes at the market they will have homemade tofu, which tastes a lot better than that bought at the supermarket.
From what you cannot find in the supermarket, or whether it is ridiculously overpriced I would suggest importing it. I use a website called iherb.com which is exported from the US. Sometimes buying food this way is cheaper than buying it in the supermarkets (and that even includes the delivery fee). Orders do not take long to get Korea, so this is worth looking into.