Shopping experience

It is Saturday and the days of work are finished for this week. My original plan was to enjoy the spring and go to a park which has been recommended in a magazine especially during this season for its cherry blossom trees.


Looking out of the window after waking up made me change my plan as the sky was cloudy and even looked rainy.

As a backup plan I wanted to go and find an overcoat. Everyone in the office is wearing very stylish clothes and sometimes I feel quite under-dressed. The local handbook for employees of the company I work for has even a section about business attire.

Except Friday the mall staff is asked not to wear jeans, chinos are accepted. Fortunately we do not have to wear a suit every day.

Anyway, why can’t it be something like following the latest trends of the electronic industry? I would appreciate this much more.


In order to keep up with the latest must-have piece of clothes the decision for an overcoat was made. I like that kind of jacket anyway and so I did not see it as a burden.

Before I left my apartment I asked two colleagues which area of the city they recommend for shopping clothes. One of the hints was a popular place in walking distance and I decided to take a walk there.


Right in front of my destination I found a complex of three buildings belonging to a famous conglomerate in Korea: Lotte. Part one was the luxury section with well-known designer boutiques. Some of them even limited the access for  consumers and made them queueing right in front of the shop.

Most of the shoppers leaving these stores were speaking Chinese. I have already made a similar experience especially at the airport with all the duty free shops. Some of the shop assistants were even speaking Chinese showing that the shop owners know about their customer’s needs.

The third part was the section for teenagers and young adults having only casual wear. I do not regard myself as old but the goods sold there were definitely nothing to be worn in the office.


Therefore I decided to stay in part two: the section of business clothes with some known brands, a section for kids and sports equipment.

A quite modern style of overcoat caught my attention and so interred the shop. A young lady came into my direction. I asked here for the size and we both realized that speaking English with each other will not work. She replied something that sounded like Chinese and I immediately switched to that language. Bingo, she could speak Mandarin.

I was not unhappy that I could make use of the effort I had put into learning Chinese during the past three years in Beijing. However, the problem was another one. They only had the overcoat in larger sizes.


While waiting until she had checked the stock in their computer system if the coat was available in another branch I began to realize how weird the situation was.

In the heart of South Korea a Korean shop assistant was talking to a German guy in a language was not the mother tongue of  each of them. Surely this applies for English as well but English is by far more common in several countries. Especially knowing that a lot of American soldiers are still located in Korea due to the political situation and English being a mandatory a subject at school in Germany.


In the end I found a nice overcoat. Actually, the brand name is a German word meaning victory.

Indeed it was a personal victory for me to find a nice overcoat after browsing through several shops.

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