The Yin and Yang of Korean Shopping in Hawaii
Some Countries Just Know How to Do It Right.
For some reason I go through spoons like crazy. So I was looking for some replacements at a yard sale, found some, and when questioning the higher price, was told “Well, they ARE Korean!” ooohh’k. I bought them anyway, and subsequently fell in love with most things Korean. It turns out Honolulu has a good number stores selling Korean goods and food and I’m slowly exploring them. And for visitors to Hawaii who might be interested, there are several in the area of Ala Moana Center/WalMart. And the one I visited most recently, WooriMart, just moved from that area (it was a small crowded store with virtually no parking) to a new location on Kapiolani in an old auto dealership store with lots of windows and generous parking.
This is the main reason for recommending it now because the older store was so frustrating, even with its great products. I want to mention how authentic this store is. I found only one clerk who could speak some English, but everyone was helpful and friendly. I spent well too long shopping in there, and I’ll describe my favorite items, some I’ve already bought and some I intend to on a later trip, as I’ve seen none of the items at other stores. I’ve included snaps of these items in the collages below. – from left to right –
- cooling/heating pad: I have this and use it all the time. I just keep it in the refrig and use on sore muscles or just sleep on it when I can’t get cool. It’s very flexible and made very well.
- seat pads: I can see so many uses for these, especially since a soft seat is so welcomed when it’s time to sit down. These seem weather proof and one folds up small enough to fit in a small bag. Cute one for the kids too. I see this at the park or beach or even a stadium.
- for the kitchen/laundry: wow – haven’t seen a scrub board like this for a while. It’s amazingly sturdy and light. And these checkered cloths take the place of paper towels. I use them everyday – soft, absorbent, easy to wash, dry and reuse. They are very green. I hardly buy paper towels anymore. These I give as stocking stuffers to my mainland family. And that tub – one side is flat so it actually can fit down into the sink. I also ran across bar dish soap. I’m getting some next time. I can see how it’d be so much neater and convenient to use, and I do a lot of dishes by hand. Speaking of which…. I use a lot of rubber gloves too, and my favorite ones are these almost attractive Korean made ones. I give these as gifts too.
- just in – these wares carts look good, wheel wonderfully and are light as a feather. Sort of shaped like golf carts but pared down, these are a great update to the old fashion wire basket market cart. A smaller hand bag is included inside. Another woman and I pulled and pushed these all around and just loved the feel of them. Too bad they are a tad too long to be regulation carryon luggage because I’d travel with one of these in an instant.
- For those in the sun who need extra protection, this is a face protector that attaches to a ball cap. Looks sort of odd but certainly does the job. Perfect for yardwork or even while in the car to avoid extra damaging rays to the face.
- the best now! This is an amazing bamboo floor cover. Its reversible and can be folded up and put in a bag small enough to fit in a suitcase. I have one similar on my kitchen floor and I love it. It’s very easy to keep clean, and even though the Koreans use them to sleep on, they make a truly fashionable floor cover – over hardwoods or carpet. For $129 this is a real buy.
- lastly and finally – the spoons: the pic shows the Korean spoon and teaspoon on the left to show the difference from the American counterpart, the ice tea and soup spoon. I have found it to be amazingly useful in the kitchen and on the table, with its longer handle but nicely sized bowl end. Perfect for jars of mayo or mustard or any of that sort. I use my constantly and find it fills a small void in all of my utensils. I just bought the teaspoon too with it’s nice handle. And nothing could be cuter than the baby version of these.
I hope you have enjoyed shopping along with me for items you aren’t going to find at the average mall, and I hope you’ll think about visiting this mart’ for something different and unique.