Posts Tagged shopping

Night Markets

You can smell the Stinky Tofu from a block away.  It’s the kind of stink that curls your nose hairs.  The kind of smell that almost makes you not hungry anymore.  But I’ll be darned if it didn’t taste OK.  I can’t say that it was great tasting because the smell was too much.

Stinky tofu lives up to its name

Stinky tofu lives up to its name

Night markets are common in Taiwan.  I read that Taipei is the New York of Taiwan, because it is a city that never sleeps.  The markets don’t start until 7pm, don’t get busy until 10pm and some of them don’t end until 5am.  Soo many people all with one thing on their mind….. food.  Fresh fruit, batter-fried meats, tofu, squid, a hundred varieties of fish, rice cakes, kebabs, smoothies, lo mein, fried rice, egg fried pancakes… Most people look for the dumplings, dim sum, mandu, whatever name you want to call them… the meat or veggie filled balls of goodness.  Luckily for me, there are many of them made out of rice and not wheat.  Other than food, I found inexpensive purses, shirts, shoes, souvenirs, bugs, paintings, nik-naks, and just about anything else you can think or want.

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Anyang is such a great town

Anyang has it all….. lots of shopping department stores, a traditional market with lots of fresh veggies, good clubs for a fun nightlife, lots of English teachers, close to mountains… and other little perks that wouldn’t make sense in a blog.

Looking down on Anyang while drinking coffee.

Looking down on Anyang while drinking coffee.

Anyang is 20 minutes, by subway, from Sanbon… or a ~$4 cab ride away.  This is also where Club Psycho is located… the bar that reminds me of Huntington.   Mainly, I think Anyang is great because of its Chugang market.  That is where the piles and piles of peppers, spices, vegetables, and fruit can be found for reasonable prices.  Seth and I bought a giant bag of potatoes for ~$2 and a box of black raspberries for ~$3.  They sell clothes and purses too.  Anyang has also been one of the few towns that actually has vintage clothing shops.  Most Koreans won’t buy used clothing because of some strange folklore, such as the clothing being haunted by the previous owners (even though no one died).  It’s weird, but there aren’t many 2nd hand clothing shops.  We found 3 of them in Anyang.  I guess they’re not as superstitious here as opposed to the rest of Korea.

Seth and I were trying to find him a “man purse”.  All the men in Korea carry purses.  It’s funny, but true.  Seth decided they have the right idea and that he needs to enjoy the same convenience.  He didn’t find one he liked, so we stopped for a frozen coffee.  This picture is taken while resting.

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Anyang Market

This past weekend, Seth and I went to Anyang.  It’s only 3 subway stops from our apartment.  This town had a HUGE market.  I love markets, and could honestly stay in them all day and never get bored.  I love looking at all the different foods, all the people shopping, all the bright colors of the produce… it’s just amazing to me.

Entrance to the market was lined with clothing shops

Entrance to the market was lined with clothing shops

Seth in the market

Seth in the market

Seth’s face is a bit dark, but you can see the flags high in the background and all the bright lights.  It was extremely crowded (just like everything else in Seoul).  The middle of the aisles were lined with tiny food stations.  20-30 different stations were all selling the exact same food items.  It was weird.  Only 4 or 6 people could sit at each station to eat at one time.  Almost all of them were full too.

This place kept going and going… every time we turned, there was another long aisle.

Tomorrow I’ll put up some pics of the food booths.  Today it’s a bit cloudy and cool outside.

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Yarn…. String

Need yarn, or twine, or ribbon?  I found the place for you….

even the craft store was colorful

even the craft store was colorful

 This store didn’t have exactly the yarn I was looking for, but it was amazing.  Even the ceiling was dangling with strings of various ribbon or rope.   They had several bags of ribbon they were throwing away, and so I raided their stash and found some gorgeous lace ribbon.  I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it yet, but it’d be great on a purse or around the cross stitch I’m working on now.

the chick who took me to the craft store

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Wedding Gowns

In the giant craft store, many girls were picking out their wedding dresses.  Apparently, it is still desired to get married in the traditional clothing.  So, many of the fabric shops were devoted to making gowns.  There were tons of women designing their dresses.  The shop workers were pulling out swatches of colors and catalogs were everywhere.  The women were never alone.  They were surrounded usually by what I’m assuming to be their fiance and mother… sometimes a sister or friend was there too.  We saw row after row of the same kind of shops, all full!

Rows of dress makers

Rows of dress makers

 I’m going to do some research to find out about what their actual weddings involve.  This has sparked my curiosity.

Korean wedding gownKorean gowns   
Oh, and we finally got our bank accounts today!!!  Thank goodness.  It wasn’t that difficult either, the bank teller spoke some English… so that helped.  :mrgreen: 
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Giant Craft Store

OKay, so maybe it was more of a Craft Complex.  It was amazing.  You name it, I may have been able to find it there.  Lots of fabric… everything from tapestry quality to cheap cotton… silks to crushed velvet… solids to florals.  It was a rainbow of shopping.  Plus, they have alot of housewares too… lots of silverware and stuff you’d want to put on a wedding registry.  And, not all the stores were open.  We went on a Sunday and some of the shops were closed, so I can’t even imagine what it’d be like when they’re ALL open.  Wow.

This area of Seoul is known as “Fashion Town”.  There are also tons of high end clothing stores all around.  The town is actually called Dongdaemun (pronounced Dong Day Moon).  This girl I met is working on a project to cover her walls with fabric and wanted to check this place out.  Of course, I wanted to go.   :mrgreen: We found some really nice fabric for her project… I hope she’s still happy with the purchases.

This is the Craft Store building.
This is the Craft Store building.

One of the many fabric shops
One of the many fabric shops

Shops like this were everywhere.  All you would see was a head peeking out over mounds of fabric.  It was amazing.  I tried to sneak a picture, because I didn’t want to make them mad.  The discount fabric would be folded up in the floor lying all over the place.  That’s the way to shop.

Not much new going on.  I’m making lunch, and then heading to work.  Seth has rearranged the furniture in the apartment to have more of an office area.  It’s another bright and shiny day today.

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Techno Mart

We went to Seoul.  That place is sooooooo big that we’ll never see it all.  We rode the subway today… which I love!  It’s soo nice to be going somewhere that you can chill out and read a book or watch podcasts.  It takes us about an hour one way to get to most places in Seoul.

8 story mall

8 story mall

This is a picture of the Techno Mart.  It’s HUGE.  8 stories high, and 2 more stories underground.  The bottom 2 levels are clothes, shoes, and normal shopping stuff.  The upper 8 levels are electronic items… this is where I got my webcam for cheap.  It’s insane how many people were there.

My Life is Perfect store

'My Life is Perfect' store

The picture doesn’t capture it all.  This store was called ‘My Life is Perfect’… and it would be my favorite store if it were back home.  Twinkle lights came down from the ceiling and they covered fake trees throughout the store.  It had everything from natural beauty products, clothing, stationary, jewelry and smiley face cookies…..

How cute are these?!

How cute are these?!

These made me giggle.  :smile:

We also stopped at a Music market.  Oh… My… Goodness… it was huge.  4 levels of nothing but musical euipment and supplies.  I know a bunch of guys that could live here and be happy.  Musicians everywhere, people playing various instruments in the stores, every kind of instrument you can think of… amazing.

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E-Mart

The E-Mart is similar to a K-mart.  It has food on one floor, housewares on another floor, and clothing on a third floor.  We’ve been able to find most everything we need so far.  The prices aren’t expensive and you have to carry your own grocery bags… like Aldi back home.

Weird things I’ve seen in the E-mart grocery store

They like to give away the oddest things with groceries.  Some make sense, others do not.  For instance:

1.  to random boxes of cereal they had taped ear muffs on the outside (this might have been the strangest)

2.  to random bags (now when I say random, it means that not every one had a free gift) of pasta, they had taped a tiny cup of tomato sauce

3.  to giant 32oz plastic beer bottles (“Cass” beer) they had peanuts covered in some malt coating that were tied to the top of the bottle

4.  to random bags of rice they had taped cleaning products to the outside

5.  some wine had free bottle stoppers/ openers

6.  to random boxes of instant coffee they tape a smaller box of a different brand of instant coffee to the outside

7.  some bags of coffee had 1 or 2 coffee filter packages taped to them

8.  other boxes of coffee had pasta sauce taped to the front

9.  a 6 pack of drinkable yogurt will have 2 random yogurt containers taped to the top

10.  random bags of all sorts of products will be taped in pairs… I’m guessing a buy one get one free deal, but again, not all bags have a pair and dates seem to be the same.

11.  various bottles of soda had ramen noodle packages taped to the top

I haven’t figured out if this is clearance stuff they tape to various products just to get rid of them, or if it’s
wanting people to try different products…. who knows.  It’s really humorous and fun to see what strange items will be taped to our groceries next visit.

Thank goodness I enjoy spending time in grocery stores.  It takes forever just to figure out what we need when we can’t read the packaging.

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