Sunday, September 4, 2011

Paldal Market (팔달시장)

It was recently reported in the news that Korean consumer prices rose 5.3% this month to the highest level in 3 years. There are a lot of inexpensive products and services in Korea; unfortunately the staples (food and housing) are not among them. So Clark and I decided that instead of our regular weekly trip to Homeplus, now was as good a time as any to go to Paldal Market (팔달시장); the largest traditional market in Suwon, and only a 5-minute bus ride from home.
I wondered how much, if any, money we could really save by taking the traditional route. The atmosphere (sights, sounds, smells) of the market make it well worth the experience, but in my estimation we didn't really save all that much. Most of the prices were comparable to what we pay at Homeplus. The only thing for which I noticed a marked savings was the banchan 반찬 'sidedishes'; particularly kimchi. In one or two cases (shrimp, for example) I found the market prices more expensive, in fact. Regardless, we bought a fair amount and had a good time this evening ~ a time made even better by the fact that Logan decided to nap for over an hour in his stroller.
Here are the highlights of our market adventure...

I thought these little guys were cute!^^ Don't they look so smiley?

Definitely cheaper and oh-so delicious (I taste-tested almost everything^^). We bought a whack of  ggeotjeori 걷절이 'new kimchi'.

Lots and lots of songpyeong 송편 'sesame seed or chestnut paste filled rice cakes' in preparation for next week's Thanksgiving holiday.

Fall is never complete without dried red chili's.

Clark and I share an affinity for all things dried. He is particulary fond of fish jerky (yick!).

Seeing this made me giggle.

And this made me laugh out loud! (Most certainly not a Korean expression and just sounds so wrong in English).

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