Things I Can NEVER Find in Korea

February 16, 2011

There’s always going be a few hard-to-get items when you’re in Asia: turkey, your favorite toothpaste, decent marshmallows, cheese. In general, I try to readjust my needs, and learn to live with what’s available. For toiletries, that’s usually no problem at all. For food… I still get cravings. Although I have been able to find many things at the push of a button (i.e. the Internet), there are some creature comforts that have never crossed my path during my time in Japan and South Korea. I leave it to you, readers, to tell me where they are.

Slippers bigger than 300 mm

I have big feet. Not outrageous by western standards, but certainly bigger than an average Korean foot. As such, I have never been able to find indoor slippers that fit me comfortably. Nor bathroom slippers (though I haven’t seen any besides the “free size”). I could just wear soft flip flops around my apartment, but I was a little disappointed neither Japan nor Korea catered to big feet.

Ginger beer

This is mostly me being snobbish about wanting things outside their respective countries, but I can’t help it: I do likes my ginger beer. Bundaberg from Australia to be exact. There are a lot of ginger products in Australia and New Zealand I got hooked on: ginger beer, ginger kisses, gingerbread. In the US, it was pretty easy to find Bundaberg and Tim-Tams at the World Market or a few import specialty shops. Still, what would I give to lift one of those pint-sized bottles to my lips after a long run on a hot day… nothing compares to Bundaberg.

ginger beer [484]

Spicy mustard

During my time in Japan, the sight of mayonnaise sickened me. It’s the condiment of choice of there for almost everything: breaded pork, ready-to-eat sandwiches in 7-11, onigiri. In Korea, there is still plenty of mayonnaise, but mustard is available… well, mustard sauce, anyway. For the genuine flavor that makes your eyes water when you spread just the right amount against your lunch meat, I suggest you bring some from home. Import stores do carry yellow mustard and fancy French brands with whole mustard seeds, but that brown ground-seed mustard is rare indeed.

The list is extensive, but I’ll leave you with these for now.

3 Responses to Things I Can NEVER Find in Korea

  1. Janet Newenham on February 17, 2011 at 8:08 am

    Hey!
    Im with you on the big feet, no shoes thing! However thanks to my awesome boss I have discovered lots of great websites where you can buy BIG shoes, for both male and female, online. The deliver in like 2 or 3 days which is pretty awesome. No idea if you will fins slippers but ya never know!

    Also I think I miss Bulmers Irish cider in the way you miss bundaberg…I can survive on soju and cass for now but MAN what I would do for a pint of cold cider!!! 🙂

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  3. Breda on February 20, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    M&Ms!

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