A ‘Paris Baguette’ bakery franchise opened up in our determinedly-crappy-but-slowly-upscaling neighbourhood today. As is the tradition* in Korea, there was a trio of young women out front, gyrating to painfully loud disco music. It is bitterly cold today, so the artificial grins that they are required to wear were perhaps a little more forced than is usual. These girls must dance, non-stop, for anywhere up to 10 hours or so, while exhorting patrons to come and enjoy whatever wares the newly opened shop is flogging. They come from an agency of some kind. Mr. Kim, the proud owner of a new boshintang restaurant, will ring up and say “Yeah, I need three girls tomorrow. No, dancing girls, you idiot. Yeah, all day. Thanks”, and they magically appear with their uberdisco sound system the next day, rain or shine.
The really amusing thing (there’s always more than one amusing thing in my World of Anecdotes, sucka!) though, was they didn’t have a single f–king baguette in the place. At least we got a free bread knife.
*tradition being anything that’s been done for five years or more. ‘Or more’ may extend to a couple of thousand years, but who can tell?