One of my favorite things about Kdrama is how much attention it pays to the little details of life—how people eat, sleep, and even use the bathroom. Most shows leave me longing for more information, but as a resident of rural New England I haven’t had much chance for reconnaissance.
My curiosity about material culture in Korea has occasionally led me to the website of Hmart, an “asian-inspired supermarket” in America that carries many of the things that appear in Korean dramas, from aluminum ramyun pans to traditional Chinese medicines. But I only realized a few weeks ago that Hmart actually has a number of brick-and-mortar locations throughout America, including one that’s just over two hours from where I live.
I told myself it was silly to drive that far to visit what’s essentially a grocery store (especially when I’m a notoriously terrible cook), but I finally broke down this week when my mother mentioned wanting to go to a specific mall store that happens to be in the same direction as Hmart. I hijacked her trip...and spent so much time trawling Hmart’s aisles that we never did make it to the store she wanted to visit. (Sorry, Mom!)