The Five Day Market

Due to the combination of being tiny and being a political island, Korea has to get lots of stuff from far away. This combination and a bunch of other factors, collusion among the producers and importers, tariffs on foreign food, drive the price of food through the roof. Sara and I do buy a lot of organic, foreign stuff and when we first moved here we were spending almost $800 a month on food. Enter the five day, or 4 and 9 day, market. Every day that ends in 4 or 9, the 4th the 9th the 14th, brings a group of vendors to I-Dong selling everything from fruit to t-shirts, raw fish to house plants. It's a great, cheap place to get lots of fresh food and has dropped our food bill down to around $600. Plus it's only a five minute walk from our apartment.  Now if we could just find good coffee cheaper than $30 a pound. As always, here's ten pics and some foolish comments.

The Market

The Market in Pohang I-Dong
This is what it looks like.  Dozens of tents set up in empty lots  along the street.  Here's the kimchi booth, twenty varieties of pickled, fermented deliciousness.  I've probably tried about two, if that.  

Millions of Peaches...

Peaches in Pohang I-Dong
We're never sure what's going to be at the market one week to the next.  Strawberries are here in the winter and then they just disappear.  Same with peaches, plums, nectarines, cherries, apples, blueberries and all the rest.  When we see something that looks good, we buy it.  10 dollars for this basket of peaches?  Sold.  10 bucks for a half pound of blueberries, we'll take two. 

Working Hard

I-Dong Pohang Market
Part of the army that keeps the world running.  Dozens of older women sitting for 8 hours a day cleaning lettuce, peeling garlic, making food look good.  Some of them will have only two or three baskets of leaves and will sit all day.  

Skeptical Baby

Kids in Pohang
I think this kids face says it all.  Not sure if she's going to share or dump it on my head.


Vegetables in Pohang
Here they are, all the current vegetable varieties in Pohang.  Potatoes, zucchini, bell peppers, eggplant, that's about it.  Sweet potatoes, mushrooms, onions, cucumbers, and tomatoes also make appearances throughout the year.   


Buying vegetables and groceries in Pohang
We get more free stuff from this woman than anybody else in the market.  We buy two zucchini's and she throws in two for free.  Buy a couple heads of broccoli, get one free.  Broccoli 1500 won a head, Potatoes 2000 won for 5, bell peppers red and yellow 2000 won for two.  We can spend about 25 bucks and get a weeks worth of vegetables. 

The Tofu Lady

Buying tofu in Pohang
The street is lined with women selling lettuce, sprouts, green onions, and about a dozen types of leaves and locally foraged greens.  Sometimes you'll see these women walking along a river bank picking greens, sometimes you seem them sitting by the road selling them.

The Fruit Lady

Buying fruit in Pohang
This woman is the nicest woman in the whole place.  She's always smiling and although she speaks no English she's invited Sara to church and inquired to when she'll be having a baby.  Always a pleasure and the fruit is usually really good too.


Kimchi in Korea
Kimchi.  Or what I think is Kimchi.  We don't buy it from the market, but when it shows up on our plates in a restaurant, we usually devour it.  

Fresh Fresh

Buying chicken meat in Pohang Korea
Every week this woman provides us with a fresh organic chicken which she butchers and cleans, all for around $6.  Always fresh, always delicious, and she's always kind to us.  The best way to our wallets is with a big smile.  

No comments:

Post a Comment