Pohang is situated in the Southeast region of Korea; having both a northern region (Buk-gu) and southern region (Nam-gu). As I’ve mentioned in my previous posts, there is a Chungdahm location for teaching English in each region, although the Nam-gu office is the main branch for the English teaching aca. Having worked at the Buk-gu office in Pohang my first three months in Korea, I learned of Market Day in I-dong from my co-workers at the Nam-gu office. I had grown accustomed to doing my grocery shopping at the supermarket in the Buk-gu area but I was also very curious about this market day in I-dong. Here’s what I learned.
Market day is held on days having a “4” or “9” in it; so, the 4th, 9th, 14th, 19th etc. Why the numbers 4 and 9 are so significant, I still don’t know, but that’s how it is. Market Day is a time when all the local farmers come out to sell their goods. You can find an assortment of fruits, vegetables including cabbage, chive, oranges, tomatoes and just about everything you could want or needs in regards to produce. In addition, the price of goods are significantly reduced. So, according to your needs, you can save big time by doing your shopping during market day while teaching English in Korea.
However, market day isn’t limited to just produce; you can also find vendors of all sorts selling clothes for the whole family. I’ve seen some incredibly cute baby clothes very reasonably priced. Although I don’t have need for baby clothes, I can’t help but admire how cute baby clothes are in Korea. In addition to clothes, there are vendors who sell Korean fast foods and sweet treats. There’s tofu that comes with a spicy sauce, my favorite! There’s also a mandu stand, spicy crab, kimchi and an assortment of pastries, candies and donuts. It’s kind of like going to the flea market.
Yet, that’s not all! On any given market day, you can also find a vendor selling plants, aquariums with fish or turtles, smaller furniture pieces or paintings. I bought two of my houseplants during market day last year for a really good price. I was tempted to get fish, but decided to hold off on that. It’s a big affair here in I-dong. I was surprised to that market day is a year round event, even during the cold winter months.
In keeping a realistic view of things, there is a downside of market day. Buying produce means buying larger than usual quantities of goods. And usually, vendors are unwilling to sell half a portion. Which of course means that you may have much more than you need or want and thus, the produce ends up being thrown out in the trash; a wasted of food and money. In addition, because vendors are out in the sun all day, foods that required refrigeration often go bad quickly.
When I stayed in Seoul my first week of training, I realized that there was also specific days of the week where the subway was used as a venue for “market day”. I’m curious to know if other towns and provinces hold a market day as well.
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Nailah Rivers was born in Trinidad and Tobago. She moved to the United States with her family at the age of seven. She graduated Rutgers University in 2011 with a degree in psychology. Her sophomore year in college, she knew for sure that she would pursue a teaching career with a focus on elementary school. After a risky move to Miami, Florida in 2011, Nailah decided to take a chance and apply to teach English in South Korea with Chungdahm Learning. She is currently teaching in Pohang, South Korea and is having a good time teaching and learning. Follow her blog to get the inside scoop on teaching abroad.Follow Nailah on Pintrest!