Not Packing Light

January 6, 2014

Rolf Potts may extol the virtues of no-baggage travel and keeping your possessions to a minimum, but this time, I couldn’t resist bringing all these goodies into Korea. Thankfully, I didn’t have an issue with customs.

1. Two bottles of Napa wine, The Prisoner and La Crema.
Wine is available in Korea, but at inflated prices and with a poor selection (from California, anyway). I didn’t want to settle for a 26,500 bottle of Yellow Tail

2. A jar of Justin’s peanut butter
Jiff and 1-2 other brands can be found in most convenience stores, but PB just isn’t popular in Asia

3. Lots of Japanese green tea and chamomile
This is a case of pure snobbery. I love my green tea, and I don’t really care for the Korean brand. Most of what you find in supermarkets is mixed with too much brown rice.

4. Ghirardelli dark chocolate
Koreans do have different kinds of chocolate, but I prefer the variety you can find in the US (or any other non-Asian country, really).

5. Maca, algarobbina, and chia seeds
I couldn’t resist after having all those delicious smoothies in Arequipa. Hopefully I’ll find a blender and these ingredients will add zest to any fruit smoothie.

6. Winter clothes
I was woefully unprepared the last time I faced a Korean winter. This trip, I’ll have my leather jacket, baby alpaca sweater, and lots of Under Armor layers.

7. Corn tortillas
Mexican food is always an issue in Asia, but I don’t really try to make it myself. These come at the request of a Couchsurfer.

8. Salame
Decent salted and dry meats are rare commodities in Asia. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’m not supposed to bring them over. Oh well.

9. Aged cheddar
Korea does have cheese, including some decent stuff in Itaewon, but by and large the selection is poor and the price outrageous (20,000 Won for a small block of cheddar?). I need my cheese.

What I could have brought, wanted to, but didn’t:

1. Rice krispie treats
Or at least the proper marshmallows to make them. To my knowledge, Rocky Mountain brand are the only marshmallows in Korea.

2. Big towel
As in Japan, most of the towels in Korea are smaller and thinner than those to which I’m accustomed. I will adapt.

After consuming all this, I’m sure to have a much lighter load flying back in March. Huzzah.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to OAT

Created by Webfish.

Need Advice on Living Abroad?

Thinking of teaching English in Japan? Volunteering in Thailand? Backpacking around New Zealand? If you're looking for some insider tips on the places to go and the people to meet, check out my consulting services. If you just have a few questions, no worries: email me.