Market day

Had another long shopping stretch (without actually buying anything much) yesterday – we left from Korea University at around 3 PM and were back six hours later. Meanwhile, we were at Dongdaemun flea market (see watch!) and a couple of the shopping malls, in Jegi-Dong (although the herbal medicine market had closed by the time we got there) where we found a huge market and eventually had a dinner (also breakfast and lunch for me).

[What time is it? It's Astroboy time!]

The flea market was fun – we were totally amazed by the variety and multiplicity of things that could be found in there. I was tempted to buy something weird just because it was possible. Eventually, all I got was the Astroboy watch, because I have been looking for a decent watch, and because, well, that's just cool. It was actually Daniel's find, but he decided not to get it (maybe because I was weeping next to him). Hans & Valerie got those stamp things you can use for signing documents here, and I was solely tempted... But maybe later. I'm not sure how my name would work on one of those.

The clothes-shopping part was slightly less entertaining – I'm shy at bargaining and really have no idea what I should expect to pay for anything. I only wear black, but all those bizarre T-shirts made me wish I could wear colour*. Daniel told me afterwards he'd picked up a pile of T-shirts and saw cockroaches crawling underneath, but I'm not sure whether that was at the flea market or at the shopping complex thingy. I wish he'd told me earlier, I wanted to take pictures...

We were already on our way to Jegi-Dong for the herbal medicine market when it occurred to Andreas to check the closing time – which was about half an hour ago. We decided to go ahead anyway and to find a restaurant there. We found our way to a big market area (Jegi-Dong market?), which was still open. They were selling all kinds of foodstuff, and everyone agreed that it was much more fascinating than the flea market. I'm not sure why – maybe because the markets in Europe are smaller and everything seems more processed; there are less raw materials, and probably less variety in certain things, available in Europe. (Well, we were two Austrians, one Malay/Australian and one Finn.) I saw my first dog meat counter. We were also probably the only foreigners in the entire place. Hans speaks some Korean, so he managed to find us a restaurant in the end. Well, just like Gord said: once you find one of them, you find them all. We had something one of the locals told us we "have to eat while we're here", for which I can't remember a name – a stew with potato, meat, veg, noodles. Not so spicy this time, so it was a nice change.

So, meeting my group for lunch today, and there was talk about going to the/an aquarium, but apparently we're not sure yet, or then the plan has changed... Or something. I guess I'll find out in an hour or so.

[Andreas, Daniel, Hans & Valerie]

Oh yes, and the rest of the photos can be seen in this album.

*It's not ideological or anything. I'm just intensely uncomfortable in any other colour than black.

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