I am a movie snob. It’s rare that I think a movie is worth the second mortgage required to get in and buy refreshments. I tend to shy away from most blockbusters and focus on indies with great actors. Unfortunately, that is no an option in Korea. The more explosions an American movie has, the better its chances of gracing the big screen in Korea.
I’ve been dying to see a movie lately, so I decided to take a risk – a big one. I agreed to go with my friend Scott (New Zealand) to see The Avengers. In The Avengers, a bunch of Marvel comics heroes are united to fight against some aliens. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 97% fresh rating, which is exceptionally rare, so I decided to set my reservations aside and enjoy the show.
Well, that was a mistake. A big one. Just staying in the theater, and not walking out, was a battle of attrition. The film was an atrocity. The writing was absolutely horrible – like watching 2+ hours of CSI. There were at least a dozen scenes that made us laugh out loud – and not because they were meant to be funny. Despite a few actual funny moments (thanks mainly to Robert Downey Jr.), it was physically painful to watch.
When the movie was (finally) over, we decided to explore the Lotte mall in which the theater is located. The theater is on the 9th floor, so we got a brief tour of the mall as we descended the escalators. We realized we had gone too far when the final escalator deposited us in the basement. We were delightfully surprised to find ourselves in the nicest grocery store we’ve seen so far in Daegu.
Though it was still a bit different from a grocery store in at home, the Lotte grocery store was surprisingly clean and well-organized. We saw a few quality brands that we have not been able to find in other stores. More importantly, we found a bunch of restaurant kiosks in the center of the shopping area. One sushi kiosk in particular caught our eye.
It works just like similar conveyor belt sushi restaurants in the US and New Zealand. You wait for an appealing dish to glide by, pick it up, and eat it. The plates are color-coded by price. Their prices range from 1,500 won – 5,000 won (about $1.50 to $5). At the end of the meal, a woman comes to your seat and tallies up the total cost.
We spent less than $20 total and both ate too much sushi. Even in a super nice place like the Lotte department store, food is cheaper than in the US. This is becoming one of my favorite things about Korea. Food that is tasty and moderately healthy can be had for relatively little.
Until next time.