With our Korean slowly getting better, and our confidence growing by the day (one needs some confidence to interact with the locals), we decided to brave the downtown market. It's about a 15 minute walk from our apartment, so we headed out on the overcast Saturday morning (about 10 ish). We also figured with our initial budget running a bit low, and both of us only being paid on the 10th of next month, a little bit of saving is in order, and what better way to do that than cooking at home rather than eating out the whole time.
Walking into the market can be a little daunting, but once you're in it and have made your first purchase, things only get easier. There are several hundred metres worth of market 'streets' to navigate, and they range from the covered areas that sell mostly baked and made goods (prepared foods, such as Kimchi and dried fish), and fresh fish and seafood. There are a few open air streets, where one would find the farm goods (fruit and veg), and there are a few more covered streets that sell all sorts of random goods, ranging from slip slops to blankets to caps to keys to crockery...literally all sorts!
There are also hundres of types of ready to eat hand foods to buy and snack bars or pseudo restaurants to sit down at for a quick bite. It is a brilliant experience!
Most of the buying is done with our (very) basic Korean, and then just guessing, gesticulating, and hoping that what you're expecting to get is what you are going to get.
We left the market with most of the things we were after, plus (as it happens when shopping) a few more randoms.
All in all a proper experience that we hope to repeat in the near future!