On a recent trip to Busan, I found myself fixated on the idea of visiting Jagalchi Fish Market. I knew absolutely nothing about the market but a few weeks earlier had spotted it as a tiny dot on a map and ever since, had an intense desire to explore it. I learned, once visiting the market and subsequently reading its history, that Jagalchi is the largest seafood market in all of Korea and was established as the Korean War ended.
The market proved fascinating, with one booth after another offering squirming varieties of every kind of live seafood imaginable, tables of dried squid and fish carcasses, bowls of live sea urchins, and hot griddles with today’s catch fried and ready to eat. After winding my way through the outdoor bazaar, I assumed my exploration was at an end and almost called it quits when I spotted an official looking sign hanging outside a large two-story building that read “Jagalchi Fish Market.” Inside were impressive stalls, much cleaner and larger than their outdoor counterparts, showcasing a wide selection of live seafood. After working through some language barriers, I learned from a vendor that any live seafood I picked out and paid for downstairs would be cleaned and prepared as I waited and then brought with me upstairs to be cooked and eaten.
Across Korea traditional markets are still a common feature. Taking place every five days in towns and even cities, the markets give a brief insight into an older part of Korea. For the most part these markets are straightforward occasions and possibly a bit like you could imagine in the so-called olden days, drawing in all the local populace for not only business but also social reasons.
Throughout you can see people meeting and doing business, while at the same time there is a good quantity of back slapping and hearty laughing by the stalls. There are rows and rows of people, mostly old women it has to be said, selling what is clearly the excess from their small gardens, and for them it seems to be as much a chance to get out and meet people, with the added benefit of actually making some money.
Time moves so quickly here! I’ve already got my third week under my belt. fourth, if you count training in Seoul. This weekend I went to the beach, contributed to a pot luck yacht party, ate some super fresh fish at Jigalchi fish market, and went to the beach again, to see some stormy weather. Time for pictures!
Do you remember that one scene in Oldboy? The scene which, after you watched it, you never forgot and needed therapy to recover from? You know, that scene, the one where Oh Dae-Su eats a living octopus? Well, our recent lunch at the Millak Raw Fish Market brought me as close to the experience of being Oldboy as I ever need to get.
On entering the world’s largest sashimi hall, I was strangely giddy, but also dreadfully nervous. Jürgen and I have eaten sushi, but never full plates of sashimi, which is just sliced-up raw fish. But we had a trump card up our sleeves: a booster shot of bravery. Our friend Young-mi was visiting from Germany. It was something I’d carefully orchestrated. Young-mi runs Kimchi Princess, the most popular Korean restaurant in Berlin, and with her at our side, we could eat anything! (Not only would she reassure us with her knowledge, but shame us with her mockery. Like all good friends, Young-mi has no problem letting us know when we’re being pussies).
The Shot: This kind of shot that takes a common street (at least around the coastal areas of Korea) and draw attention to the subject by adding a slight vignette to the image. Some may say that this style is over-done but I think that with the right usage it is a nice effect to what would otherwise be a boring shot.
This is the another of many photo-diaries to come from the recent May edition of the HBC Fest. I thought I’d do something different and show as many crowd pictures From the Fest as possible. Plenty of music to follow, don’t worry.
I like to use the three-fingered-claw method for holding my phone. You?
Considered to be one of Korea's best winter festivals, the Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival (화천산천어축제) offers more than enough to see and do. Whether your interests are in fishing for the sancheoneo, a type of mountain trout, or enjoying the frozen-over river, you'll need a full day to see it all.
Lest my dear readers think every trip goes smoothly, this is one that did not. Thanks to congestion and a couple accidents along the way, our bus didn't arrive until 5pm. By the time we found the river (within walking distance of the bus terminal), the sun was heading down and the people off the ice.