Saturday, January 22, 2011

Wa Ba Pu

Each time I go to the store the sweet ladies working there like to help me find what I need.  And by “help”, I mean that they actually take whatever I am holding out of my hands and give me something different.  The first time this happened I had only been here a few weeks and was looking at olive oil. I had just decided on my selection and was turning to walk away with my choice in hand. Without missing a beat, the little retail helper snuck up from behind and took it away from me. She handed me an obviously lower priced olive oil with two bottles saran wrapped together. 

“1+1”, she tells me and smiles, while lightly bowing.  At this point I had no idea what “1+1” meant or why she was suggesting I buy the cheap olive oil but I didn’t want to be rude so I gladly took her recommendation, smiled back, nodded, and went about my business.  I know she was being helpful and I appreciated the gesture, but for her to just grab something out of my hands I thought was quite ballsy. And eventually I learned that “1+1” is the Korean way of saying Buy One, Get One.

This has honestly happened to me every time I have gone to the grocery store.

Last weekend, Marisol and I were looking for what I call WaBaPu.  (Water + Banana = Pure) This commercial plays on tv on almost every break and I was intrigued.  It’s actually called Pure, but I really like walking around saying Wa Ba Pu.  It’s funny to me.

I thought it’s maybe banana water.  Coconut water has become a recent fad in the States so banana water made sense to me.  On Saturday, we were in Home Plus and I was going through my options of WaBaPu.  There is original, grape, and apple flavors.  I voted apple.  I like apples. No sooner did I turn around and there was a little Home Plus lady ready to help.  As expected, she took my WaBaPu away from me and handed me a similar looking product that maintained my apple flavor preference. 


Marisol looked at me questioningly.  This is the first time she has been with me to observe the Home Plus ladies at work.  I didn’t want to offend her  so I took her suggestions but I was quietly upset that I now could not get my WaBaPu. (It’s fun to say, isn’t it?) Nevertheless, we giggle and I say, “thank you.”  She smiles, says “Activia” and walks away.

Whoa, whoa, wait a moment?  Activia?  Do I look like I need Activia? Is this woman judging me and my digestive health? I want to be offended but I just can’t.  It’s too funny.  This woman is actually suggesting that I … well, you know the rest.  Weird.

I decided to do a little research on WaBaPu after this event and as it turns out that it is the same as Activia.  Yogurt with probiotics. It’s recommended that you have it for breakfast with a banana and a glass of water. I would like to say that I find the commercial very misleading but that’s really not fair since I only see the video and don’t understand any of the voiceover.  It could very well sound just like Jamie Lee Curtis talking about digestive discomfort and irregularity. 

Either way, I am no longer on a hunt for WaBaPu but I have to give Korea props for their marketing on this one.  The actress in the commercial is a famous figure skater and probably appeals to a much larger audience than the AARP crowd of Jamie Lee Curtis.


  1. This is the funniest thing you have posted yet!

    Love it!

  2. So, are the Home Plus ladies following you around the store?

  3. That was awesome... and it makes me want to WaBaPu! And I want to meet Home Plus lady like that. I will add her to my list! :)

  4. I don't know you but this is hilarious because i found this post while googling wabapu. the commercial just came on and after finally watching it in its entirety i came to my own conclusion. i figured that the company was trying to promote a ridiculous diet of only water, bananas and their yoghurt and that the models (i don't know why i STILL can't recognize kim yuna after being here for a lonng time) were saying how much this diet had worked for them. thank you for clearing this up for me:)

  5. The stores here are highly overstaffed. They usually have an employee assigned to almost every aisle in the grocery department. You are never far away from an ever so helpful Home Plus lady.

  6. What an experience you are having, Amy! Moderation is hard to find. No clerks to be found in stores here, and they chase you down over there. ~Good reading! ~Charlotte