10.27.2004

Jeju-si Oiljang (Five Day Market)


FiveDayMarket
Originally uploaded by katevsnow.
After a long first term here, Justin and I decided to take a trip to see the Korea that lives outside of Seoul. We took a four day trip to the southern most part of Korea, the island of Jeju-do. They call it 'the honeymoon island' because it's where most young Korean couples go after, of course, getting married and because it's the closest thing to a tropical vacation. There are palm trees scattered throughout the island, and although some say they're imported, I doubt it.
The first thing we did was go to the five day market in the city of Jeju-si. The market is only held on calendar days ending with a 'two' or 'seven'. Since we arrived on the 27th we thought we must go. It is the largest open-air market I think I've ever seen and I don't think we even saw half. There you can find anything from kimchi pots, plants and clothes to fish, beans and live animals.
We were just walking into the meat and seafood section of the market when I heard a loud squaking. I turned and saw two ajimmas carrying two big live geese in canvas bags. It was then that I noticed we weren't just at a meat and seafood market, we at a butcher's shop as well. Ajimmas (and strangly only the ajimmas, not the Korean men ajashis) were casually hacking apart cow and pig carcasses with huge rusty clevers at their wooden booths and tossing the parts into seemingly organized piles of flesh. We didn't stay very long in the area, but long enough to see large 3 feet long sections of shark meat with no heads or tails, lying on a wooden table surrounded by tons of small silver fish. Suprisingly, my little fear of sharks does not go away even when their meat is for sale at the market!

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