Thursday, October 15, 2009

Service-uh at GS 25

Service-uh is a Korean concept usually associated with restaurants. Now, in the US, if you really enjoy a good meal with good service, you show your appreciation by leaving something called "a big tip".

Well, Korea has turned this concept totally on its head, and--since I'm not in the restaurant business--I like it. What happens is that if a patron enjoys a really good meal, drinks lots of drinks, and maybe orders some extra food, the restaurant shows its appreciation to you!

Via service-uh. Your server may appear with a plate of fresh grapes, or a free order of mandu (stuffed dumplings), or a fried egg. Before you can say, "I didn't order this," she'll smile and say, "Service-uh."

A few minutes ago, I stepped out to the nearby GS 25 convenience store for a bottle of beer. Beer comes in three bottle sizes--500 ml, 1 L, 1.6 L--and approximately three brands--Cass, Hite, and OB. Sure, there are occasional variations, like Lemon, Max, Red, and X2 or something, but the selection is limited unless you trade up to the Asahi or MGD.

I selected the Cass Light and proceeded to the counter. Long story short, well, not short exactly but maybe less long, I ended up with my beer and a bag of something that appears to be named Gu Un Yang Pa (I'm poor at Hangeul cursive, so feel free to correct me in comments--and tell me what it means). The manager smiled and said, "Service-uh."

So, along with my beer purchase, I got a free bag of chips.

Essentially, these are the Korean (Japanese, actually) version of Funyuns, with just as much fun, and maybe a little more yun, in them. So, if you like Funyuns, you'll like these even more. As for me, I'm indifferent to FunYuns, as well as, it turns out, Gu Un Yang Pa.

Oh, I'll eat 'em, but I'm grateful to have the carrot-shaped chip bag clip Greg picked up in our game of five-and-dime Shopping Spree. Who wants stale Funyuns? On the other hand, how can you tell?


seoulsuzy said...

구운 양파 = roasted onions. We Koreans are so used to getting 'suh-bee-su' and/or extra freebies with purchases here that I don't think we really appreciate it as much.

JIW said...

I would like to point out that sometimes there are promotions going on. Buy one get one free or buy something and get something for free with it.

This may be the case here. Sometimes I buy something at the GS25 and the guy behind the counter goes and gets the free extra thing for me. Now I know what thing gets a freebie if there is a sticker under the product near the price tag.

But who knows maybe they like you and thought drinking beer without a snack would be sad.

Tuttle said...

seoulsuzy-I understand in general pa is the onion family, leeks, green onions, etc.

Joy-you're right. Apparently some people call these promotional deals service-uh. This manager did.

You are also right that Koreans think drinking with a snack is sad--thus the prevalence of anju.

JIW said...

Posted inside my post...