Learning the Market

While I was at the school yesterday I was washing my hands after using the washroom and heard a bit of a commotion outside. I opened the window to see what it was all about and to my surprise the parking lot behind the school had turned in to a full fledged market complete with coloured tents selling their wonderful wares. I asked the others at the school and they said that the market happens on every day that has a 4 or a 9 in it. So this month February 4, 9, 14, 19, and 24 or every 5 days. Great system.

Having not had a true market experience in Korea yet, so I was eager to look around and see what they had. By the time work ended at 6:00 I rushed down hoping that there would still be some vendors left in the market. Sure enough it appeared that there were still some vendors left.

Going in I knew that I wanted to buy some oranges as I was just out and I also wanted to find some vegetables as I hadn't bought any since arriving in Korea. But as I have found on other market experiences it is good to know what you want and how much you want of that item. I didn't have a game plan today nor did I stop to make one and so at the first stall I found some oranges and so I stopped to look at them. They looked a little small but other than that they looked great and beside the oranges were some really nice looking small tomatoes. They gave me a tomato to try and I knew that I would be buying some so I asked the price.  Not having shopped in a market yet in Korea I didn't know quantities or what I should be expecting so when I asked price they pointed to two oranges and said 5, I assumed 500 which is $0.50 and though it was alright so I asked about the tomatoes, same price. 

Great, "I'll take some of both," I told him and he grabbed the whole basket that they were in and dumped it in to a bag, then he grabbed another and did the same thing. Hmm... ok, I knew this would be more than 500, but it would also offer a learning experience. It turned out that they were sold by the basket, as was almost everything else in the market. 

In the end for two baskets tomatoes and oranges I payed 10000 won($10), which is more than I was looking to spend but there were enough of them that I still felt like I got a good deal. Also more valuably I now have a better idea of how the market works in Korea. I used that knowledge right away to get a basket of carrots and potatoes. After that, knowing I had a long walk ahead, I called it a day. Next I am looking to get some onions and then I should have enough vegetables to last me for a while.

Today was Thursday and  it snowed, I was very excited about this as it felt very familiar. I was told that it snows here in Geoje once every 10 years. Cool. This picture is taken looking out of one of the windows in my classroom(doesn't really show the snow but you already know what snow looks like).

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