Grocery shopping here is a complete and utter nightmare. Being in a huge city means that at any given time the supermarket is likely to be packed. I prefer to do my shopping at a store called Home Plus. It's more or less Target without the awesomeness only Target can possess. You know, clothes, shoes, food, household items...though probably with more of the food selection of Wal-Mart.
Let me just start off by saying that Koreans are constantly in my way. In every shape, form and capacity, they are in my way. Walking down the sidewalk they will always make sure that I cannot pass them. In the subway, they will always make sure they aggressively bypass me to be the first on the train. They seem to have an extra sense that someone is trying to get past them in some way or another and then purposely get in the way. Kind of like a Pennsylvanian on Interstate. Lastly, at the supermarket, they will always be dragging their cart sidways down the aisle or walking three people deep through the produce or parking their buggies at the mouth of the aisle to check out what's on the end of said aisle or walking so slowly down the middle of the row that it's impossible to get around...the list goes on and on and on. It's as if they have rented out the entire store for themselves and they haven't a care of anyone else in the world...but there are a thousand other people trying to shop as well. And considering out of those thousand people there might be five foreigners (thinking the same things I am, by the way) that means that there are 995 Koreans all pulling their buggies sidways or parking them right in the middle of wherever and all thinking they are the only ones in the supermarket. NIGHTMARE.
Perhaps Americans are the same way I've just never experienced a big city supermarket before. Or perhaps there are just SO MANY people trying to shop at once, it's going to happen. Or perhaps it's an Asian thing because Japan was the same and yet I was in a very small town. I've just always seen with my own eyes that if I'm trying to get around someone, they move. Or if I sense someone around me, I get out of the way. It just seems like a second nature thing to do.
Another thing I hate about grocery shopping is their aversion to shopping bags. Not that they don't have them, they don't give them to you automatically. Let's say I pull up to the cashier with 35 items in my buggy. She rings it all through to the other side of the conveyor just like anywhere else. But once everything is through it all just sits there. Back home, in most places, they bag things for you. In Japan, they gave you the amount of bags they thought you would need then you bag them yourself. In Korea, they just stare at you, daring you to ask for bags to put your things in. I don't know what goes through the cashier's mind when she sees I have a counter full of things and nothing to carry them in as I'm paying but I have had to ask, literally every single time I've gone to the store, for bags. And then sometimes it's like I've asked for them to run to the bag factory and make me some. Like, why don't I have 15 arms to carry all my stuff home? Maybe there is something more to the bag thing that I don't know about, but whatever it is, it's one of the most annoying and inconvenient thing I've run across.
If you haven't been able to tell, I just got home from Home Plus. I feel like I just came home from battling orcs in Mordor. Goooooooooooood NIGHT!