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Standing in a long queue

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16.05.2019

By Park Moo-jong

It was a cold winter day of February of 1990 in Moscow of the then Soviet Union when I saw scenes of many people standing in long queues in front of stores one after another.

I was curious about why the Moscovites were making such long lines with various kinds of bags in their hands. (I had a rare chance for a South Korean as a journalist to visit the Soviet Union before the normalization of diplomatic ties between Seoul and Moscow in December that year).

The guide said it was "for the survival for the fitness." He explained, "The long queues mean that the stores are selling daily necessities and the people join the queues without even knowing what goods are being sold there."

The next day, I also found a two-story building besieged by youngsters braving the cold. It was the city's first McDonald's from the United States. The scene was quite similar to that of Seoul citizens encircling the first Korean franchise of the American burger joint that opened in 1988 in Apgujeong.

Just two weeks ago on May 3, a brand new coffee shop in Seoul was the talk of the town with it making headlines in almost all the news outlets, and social media was flooded with photos of and articles about it. It was the........

© The Korea Times