The Market

June 1987 Pusan, South Korea

!Warning: Pictures of dead animals (errr food) below. Sensitive eyes beware!

I was fascinated by the 시장 from the first time I set foot in one. The energy, the activity, the variety... I loved wandering the 5-Day Market in 구포 (that was the first place I saw dogs sliced lengthwise from nose to anus and lined up for sale like sides of beef. It was also the first place I saw a cat with its skin off--it, too, for sale for its meat.).

I could spend hours in the early mornings at 자갈치 just taking in the variety and mystery of the sea creatures (once, in 1997, I stood watching in amazement as a hard-working man deftly peeled the skin off eel after eel and then sliced them up into perfect cross-section circles. An 아줌마 working nearby noticed that both the eel slicer and myself were lacking in the dome hair department. She cracked a joke about how he should teach me to use the knife and we could start an International Baldness Co-operative, and I swear the earth shook from the ripple-effect of granny cackle that passed through that place.).

It strikes me that travelers (or foreigners in a foreign land) take pictures of things for different reasons. Maybe they see something they really want to remember, or something they really want to make fun of, or something that is just plain shocking. The reason would most often be a reflection of the photographer's current level or stage of culture shock (Honeymoon, Negotiation, Adjustment). I know I have photos from all those stages.

This random shot of a market scene could very easily have come from today in Seoul at NamDaeMun market, with grannies squatted behind perfect-looking veggies. But it came from 1987.
Here are a few shots of food from 1987.

I like meat. And food.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

This blog is awesome.

Did they sell babies at 아가의집? ;)