Thursday, 18 April 2013

The Maze-like Markets of Dongdaemun: Part 2

Click here to read Part 1 of this post if you haven't already.

At the flea market, many of the vendors were all but buried in their own junk.

Rummaging through piles of clothes. 

Angela and I found a brief reprieve from the marketplaces in this small shrine.
As evening approached we headed back to the area surrounding Dongdaemun.
We wanted to explore one of the big indoor markets, but it turned out most of the stalls were closing early. 
I had a fun time making Angela jump in these creepy, corrugated corridors. 
Angela was so scared by the quiet corridors that she wouldn't wait outside the men's toilets on her own, bless her.
After leaving the indoor market we walked a short way along the Cheonggyecheon.
There was a small fashion show taking place on the stream.
Initially the catwalk was dominated by young models...
...then came the ajummas...
...and the dancing ajushis!
The more "seasoned" models walk the catwalk together.
During dusk - my favourite time of the day - Angela and I hung out together on the city walls near Dongdaemun.

Back at Dongdaemun as night falls.

We returned to the open-air market we'd visited earlier in the day. It was a lot quieter at night. 

Having wandered the markets for several hours, we later treated ourselves to a tasty Greek dinner: souvlaki, gyros and lots of tzatziki!
I really enjoyed exploring Dongdaemun, especially its open-air flea market, which felt at times like shopping in a living junkyard. Though most of the objects on sale were made in the last thirty years, there was a very traditional, old world quality to the manner in which they were sold: old vendors haggled and bartered their retro power drills, calculators and sewing machines straight from the dirt of the pavement, the same way merchants would once have sold their spices, urns and foreign treasures in markets of the ancient world.

We saw such a vast array of different things for sale - piles upon piles of salvaged artefacts - and yet we only explored a fraction of the district. We had no map, and simply turned down the roads that looked interesting to us at the time. I wonder what other treasures we may have found, had we chosen to explore different avenues.

As for purchases? Well I was mostly just browsing, but I did get myself a new belt, since my old one was looking a little shabby. My favourite purchase, however, was something much more special, something I shall keep forever in my possession, something I will wear whenever I want to be reminded of my time in this magical country...

...Korean underpants!

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