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"Do You Like Shopping?" by Pyo Myeong-hui

#Books on Demand l 2020-06-02

Books on Demand

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Late at night cars were racing down empty roads. Ji-young was on her way to the supermarket. The market was staying open later and later ever since she moved here, as if it had predicted that she would eventually be yearning for nighttime outings.


This consumer city resembling a huge blast furnace would have met all the needs even if it had to stretch a day to 25 hours.


늦은 밤, 한산한 도로 위로 차들이 거침없이 내달리고 있다.

지영은 마트로 가는 중이다.

밤 외출이 절실해지는 때가 올것이라는 사실을 예견한 듯,

지영이 이사 온 후 마트 영업시간은 차츰 연장되었다.


이 대형 용광로 같은 소비도시는 

수요만 있다면 하루를 25시간으로 늘려 공급할 수도 있을 것이다



Pyo Myeong-hui’s “Do You Like Shopping” was published in 2011. The story starts with the main character, Ji-young, going grocery shopping in the middle of the night. Time was why Ji-young started taking things from other people’s shopping carts. 



Interview by literature critic Jeon So-yeong

At first, she started taking things from other people’s carts to save time. But after repeated offenses, she becomes addicted to it. To Ji-young, taking things from someone else’s shopping cart felt like living someone else’s life. A person’s identity in a consumer society is sometimes defined by the items purchased, because what I buy tends to show my lifestyle. So, Ji-young is tempted by a complete stranger’s shopping cart and to fill up an emptiness in her life with someone else’s things. 


 

The events that occurred last year were played inside Ji-young’s head. It was like visiting neighbors through their shopping carts.


She coincidentally came across Il-ju’s groceries more often than any other people’s, but she chose different carts every time. That led to different meal plans and gave her great joy. 


She felt as if she was invited to someone else’s dinner all the time. Invitations came from a newlywed couple, a four-member family, a large household comprised of three generations, or an old woman living alone. 


It was like taking a trip to an unknown destination. If it weren’t for these imaginary travels, her life would have been dreary and boring. 


지난 1년의 일들이 지영의 뇌리에서

파노라마처럼 스쳤다.

장바구니를 매개로 한 이웃 순례였다고나 할까.


거의 매번 지영은 다른 바구니를 택했다.

그로써 식단은 주기적으로 바뀌었다.

그것은 한동안 지영의 일상에서 빼놓을 수 없는 낙이었다.

누군가의 식사에 초대받은 것 같았다.

초대한 사람은 신혼부부이거나 단란한 4인 가족 가정이거나

삼대가 한 집에 사는 대가족 가정이기도 했다.

때로는 쓸쓸한 독거노인의 집일 때도 있었다.


낯선 곳으로의 여행이었다.

그마저 없었다면 메마르고 지루한 일상이었을 것이다.




Pyo Myeong-hui (Born in Daegu, 1965)

: Debuted in 2001 with short story “Nighscape”

Won the 4th Creation and Criticism New Writer’s Award in 2001, etc.

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