Where Josh and I live in South Korea is pretty remote…as in Changnyeong is a really small city and we live in the village 10 minutes away from it…
So, sometimes getting stuff we need for the apartment, for day to day living and even food can be difficult, here’s how we have managed so far.
Gwanjo Mart is one of the grocery stores in Changnyeong (there are 2 main ones but our director is mad at the other grocery store-Top Mart). Every Monday our school director takes all the teachers who want to go shopping to Gwanjo Mart. It is a smaller grocery store so it is stocked with all the basic stuff but, somethings like chicken breasts, specialized cleaning supplies and American food goods are pretty hard to come by here. Josh and I get most of our week’s food here (weekends we go all out-McDonalds and pizza style in the big cities).
G-Market is an online shop that is kind of like e-bay in that there are many vendors selling various good. I just put in my first G-Market order over a week ago and I was so surprised at just the sheer variety of what you can purchase on this site. To put it in perspective…you can buy food, cosmetics, clothing, cleaning supplies and even electronics on this site. I just recently bought: a dress, a shirt, pants, toilet paper, shampoo and conditioner, mold cleaner (more on this later…), bars of soap, dessicant (again for the mold), a hairdryer and laundry detergent. What I didn’t think though was that because each of these items was coming from a different seller that I would receive 10 separate packages. When they all came in it was like Christmas!
Nice Market is an online shop where you can buy American and other non-Korean ethnic food that is harder to come by! We’ve only been here for a little over a month and I have already placed 3 orders with them! This is where I get my cheese from, it sounds crazy but we can order cheese and other perishable items online and have them delivered. The way Nice Market ships out their good is to put everything in a Styrofoam box and then put in either ice packets or dry ice to keep everything cold. Then some dude on a scooter will pull up to the school and drop off our packages! I have to admit I was super skeptical the first time I placed an order, but the bacon and cheese were still cold when they arrived so I was convinced that buying cheese off the internet is the way to go!
And if all else fails, call home and ask your mom to ship over what you cannot find! In this case my mom sent Josh and I some American candy (for our students), razors for me (they are crazy expensive here), Zyrtec, taco seasoning, Cajun seasoning and just a whole bunch of other random stuff we missed from the States.