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Wondering Wanderer!, South Korea

Thursday, 28 July 2011

"Two Little Piggies Went To Market."

"Oink, oink. Roll up, roll up, get our body parts here."
Chilseong Market in down-town Daegu is like any other outdoor Asian market; colourful, hot and smelly...and I couldn't wait to visit. Last Sunday Leslie and I decided to check it out, and knowing Korean markets like we do, fully expected an assault on all of our senses, especially our sight and smell. It was not going to be an afternoon for the queasy and hungover.

Area 51?
We first entered the market in the seafood section. The smell of course slaps you like a wet fish, and the slippery floor was a death-trap...one false step could see you sharing a bath with the guts of a thousand halibut. Alongside the usual suspects of fish, lobster, crab and other shellfish, were an array of more weird and wonderful aquatic creatures. Stenchy dried squid hung everywhere. Huge alien-like octopuses were displayed like the victims of an Area 51 massacre, with tentacles so long and lethal looking I was scared to get too close...just in case.
There were slimy eels of all shapes and sizes, some so fat and long you'd need a stretcher to take one home. Buckets of apparently delicious turtles, next to tanks of things I couldn't guess as to what they were. And like all good fish markets...an Ol' trout or two.  

After some well earned fresh air, we turned into the 'pork' section. Koreans love pork, and let me tell you, nothing gets wasted. There were buckets of snouts and curly tails. Tubs of trotters. Cases of knee and ankle joints, sadly looking far too similar to my own swollen, arthritic right speciman. Racks of ribs hung about, partly concealed by the swarming, ravenous flies. Buckets of hearts, lungs, and various awful looking offal pieces...and dare I say it...big old boxes of bollocks!

But the best part was the smiling and intact pig's heads, placed about like some macabre welcoming salesmen...or should that be 'sales pigs?' It may have been my imagination, but the porker's heads appeared to be watching over their former body parts, like some proud artist gazing about his or her own gallery, as if to say, 'go on, you know I'd make delicious bacon.'
Maybe the fish fumes had got to me a little...time for a glass of swine...erm, wine.

p.s. There is a section of the market I am yet to mention, and one even less savoury. First, we didn't expect to see it, and second, it was pretty disturbing when we stumbled upon it. This will be my next blog, coming soon, but be prepared...it is not for the feint hearted...or dog lovers. You have been WARNED!