I have 3 major “dislikes” that have stood atop my illustrious list since I can remember… smoking…”reality” TV, and finally, shopping. I’m just being honest mainly so my sarcasm in this post doesn’t just sound like PMS. But fret not my nicotine friends and real housewives of Timbuktu, my focus today is on the shopping. Its not that I don’t like to buy things from time to time…..its more the process involved. I don’t like sifting through mass quantities of other stuff and being bombarded with big red signs that mold my very plyable brain into thinking i’m getting a deal somehow. Most of all, I don’t really care for the people who are enjoying this chaos around me……its weird. Ok, enough bitching, i’ll get on with it.
Yesterday out of morbid curiosity we ventured out to what Guiness has put its mark on as the “World’s Biggest Department Store” since 2009. In its own right the Shinsegae in Busan’s Centum City is a lovely array of tons of stuff. After all, Shinsegae, translated does mean “new world” and in sheer enormity alone, it sure looked like we were in for an out of this world experience. Beginning at the entry way which I know is supposed to be inviting and classy… I found myself somewhat creeped out. The dangling sculpture seemed to drum up visions of what my head would look like it you melted it away and left the veins….eww. Passed that it was quite obvious that this store was not a secret. In fact, all of Japan as it is a huge tourist destination spot, was there on Sunday which was impressive. People flowed in and out of every direction in what was actually a very controlled manor but in no way relaxing.
Here are some spine tingling stats care of Guiness on the location “The architecturally impressive building has a huge 293,905 m² (3,163,567 ft²) of retail space. This beats the previous record holder, the famous Macy’s store in New York City, by over 95,000 m² (1,022,571 ft²).” Not included is that there are over 3000 employees working across all ten floors…..well, maybe not all at once.
Cruising past Prada and Gucci, we figured that window shopping was more our speed. We decided to make our way through each floor, giving it a quick drive-by and on to the next. Here’s a shot of the 14 floor’s offerings. Notice that there is a spa, movie theater, an ice rink, sky park, indoor golf with 60 tee’s, a cooking school and a new addition….H&M just to name a few. Yes, H&M..Busan’s first….this blog was now officially worth reading….sorta.
The design and interior layout allows a pretty painless circular perusal of each floor before heading to the next. The skypark was a nice place, filled with kids running around and obviously drained parents taking a much needed break. There are some nice views of the surrounding city from this vantage point.
The ice rink was unique as it was the first we had seen in our time in Korea and of course always cute in its own Korean way. All the kiddy’s adorned helmets and little gloves to keep there tiny hands free from the icy-ness below should they hit the deck…..and most did.
After throwing my daily allotment of bones with the elders (who I might add have started to respect my skills) we decided to make a dash for the exit. Outside the doors we saw more kiddy fun in the form of a small water fountain area. This was extremely temping but I thought the site of a soaking wet hairy dude might prove too much for their young hearts so I left the underwear horseplay to them.
In all, it managed to solidify once again my distain for the shopping scene. But listen, if you love shopping…stuff…sales, carrying bags….old women kicking your shins, warm breath on your neck as you ride the escalator and the occasional 4 year old forehead to the groin…it most likely cannot be beat. The Shinsengae Centum City Department Store is a mammouth complex and a worthwhile stop if you are in Busan.
meet me in the food court,