Monday, May 14, 2007

Foreign Stores of Bucheon

Having gone to Nicolia on Saturday, I got to thinking about other stores catering to foreigners in Bucheon. A lot of them are around the area of Chunui mountain (춘의산) and on my Sunday morning hike there I had a chance to photograph a few of the foreigner-focused businesses in the area, which tend to target guest workers in the factories nearby.

Here's the Mabuay International Store. Like most of these businesses it provides a vast suite of services for foreigners, as well as having a huge selection of South East Asian foods and, interestingly, palette upon palette of root beer, definitely not easy to come by in the typical Korean store.

Here's the Viet Quan store, which I did not go in. seems to cater only to Vietnamese clientele.

This Thai shop has only a Thai language sign. When I passed by it appeared to be full of Thai folks enjoying a brisk and sunny Sunday afternoon watching TV.

Here's the Philippine Town International Mart, which specializes in Philippine products but also has things for others. I'm not telling you anything that you can't figure out by reading the signs, because I didn't go into any of these stores. I didn't have any money with me, and figured there could be nothing worse than some American coming into your store with no money asking a lot of dumb questions and taking pictures. Should I ever have a legitimate reason to go into any of these stores rest assured I'll get the full scoop.

Here's the Al-Madina Mosque and Minhaj Islamic center, at the entrance to Gangnam Market in Chunui-dong. Few locals have even registered its existence, despite the fact that its been here for at least two years.

Here's a sign welcoming Chinese to Chunui-dong, along with a phone number any new arrivals can call.

This last one surprised me by being on the on the old main drag in Wonmi-dong rather than in Chunui-dong. Chunui-dong has plenty of factories and a very visible foreign element, but I don't associate Wonmi-dong with foreigners. This Chinese store specializes in phone cards, but they also sell Chinese foods and (written in Korean on the yellow sign) lottery tickets. One wonders to whom they sell them.

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