Open air market in Cheonan

I didn’t have any plans one saturday and my friend asked if I wanted to see a more traditional side of Korea.

By traditional, I mean less sleek and modern like the downtown area I live in and more of a relaxed, less sterilized part of town.

A group of five of us went to the open air market near the Cheonan subway station.  You could buy fresh vegetables, fruit, live squid, pickled radishes, chicken feet, hand bags, sweat pants, hanboks, flowers, Buddhist charms, and most importantly, fried pieces of bread.

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hanbok shop

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this part was not for the faint of sinus

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This is where I’ve felt the most eyes on me out of all the places I have been to in Korea.  It’s not like I have been to a long list of places, but I don’t get many stares when I walk around.  Or maybe I do and I’m just oblivious.

But this kind of market appeals to the older crowd, and older people here don’t seem to be subtle about anything.  When they stared, it wasn’t as discreet.

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you could buy a cactus

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or a nice cap

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I’m not sure whose hand that is

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all the kimchi you could want

I enjoyed myself though, especially since these weren’t antagonistic stares, just looks of surprise that a group of white people wandered out to a place where live octopus were being sold.  And we were met with nothing but kindness and smiles at every little shop and stand we stopped at.

I didn’t know there would be doughnuts!  I ate two just to make sure I liked them.

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I’m just impressed I only ate two

We also had hotteok.  A hotteok is a small pancake that is usually filled with brown sugar.  I only had a bite since I used up all of my stomach on the wonderful doughnuts.

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This was a fun place to take a stroll and a nice break from an e-mart or a shopping mall.  Variety is necessary in life.

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