Among the many places to see in Busan, two of the foreign teachers from our school had told us about Nampo-dong. Last weekend we tagged along with them on a visit there. Nampo-dong is home to a large outdoor shopping area and an enormous fresh fish market. After a thirty-minute trip nearing the end of our subway line, we had reached our destination.
Upon arrival, Starbucks was the first stop. After a quick caffeine and bagel fix we were ready for the shopping to begin.
We meandered up and down row after endless row of small shops and kiosks. There were vendors selling everything from “designer” clothes, hats, shoes and purses, to handmade artwork, office supplies and household items.
Our first bargaining/haggling experience over the prices was largely successful despite the language barrier.
After we had tired of shopping, (and Ryan had started protesting) our next stop was the fish market. It was a couple blocks over from the shops and bordered the ocean.
To get there, we walked through streets lined with tanks of octopus, eel and various other types of seafood for sale.
We quickly found the items on the street were only a preview of what was to come. As soon as we entered the large building we were instantly overwhelmed. Huge displays of live crab, octopus and lobster surrounded us on all sides.
Eels were getting skinned right before our eyes, then tossed into a bowl and still wriggling. I wish I was exaggerating.
After... Since we were getting hungry and it was past lunchtime, we decided to partake in some of the fresh seafood that was everywhere in sight. We pointed at the items we wanted and they were bagged for us. Then the people working in the booths pointed upstairs. They were offering to cook up our findings right then and there. We were escorted up the stairs and led to a table by a window overlooking the outdoor market.
We anxiously awaited our food, and soon the first entrée arrived. Here we are picking it out…
and here we are eating it…
After some persuading I gave in…
I chewed quickly so the tentacles wouldn’t stick to the side of my mouth. Ryan was intentionally waiting to see if they would stick to his.
Along with our octopus, we had some yummy fresh prawns. To go with them, we also had kimchi, veggies, garlic and peanuts, which were served as side dishes.
Once we had eaten, we took a quick trip out the back door to see where our lunch had hailed from.
We finished the day with a trip to the biggest and best Dollar Store we’ve ever been. Pure heaven for a scrappy shopper like myself.
All in all, a successful, weird and adventurous day.