From Korea with Love

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Five-Day Market in Janghyeon

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Every five days, we have o-il jang in my husband’s hometown. O-il jang or o-il sijang (5 일장 or 5 일 시장) literally means five-day market in Korean. O-il is for “five days” and jang or sijang is for “market”. Although my husband and I usually do our grocery shopping in Homeplus, I like buying vegetables and fruits in the traditional five-day market, as they are fresher and cheaper. Besides, I can always ask for a discount. I simply say “카카 주세요” (Kaka juseyo: Can you give me a discount?) with a wink and a smile, and the halmoni (grandmother) or ajossi (married/older man) usually gives in to my haggling. (I think it’s one of the skills I have. ^^)

It is very common to see grandparents work in the “o-il jang”. Some of them are between 80 to 85 years old.

I like to walk around Janghyeon when it’s market day. Everything excites me: from the street food, different kinds of fresh and dried fish/seafood, traditional snacks and side dishes, to the vibrance of Korean market life and the way people here work.

Although we have a lot of “tikim”, “sundae” and “tokpokki” stores in Janghyeon, there are stalls selling these street food at a cheaper price during “o-il jang”.

Korean doughnuts and steamed buns~~~

“Galchi” (갈치) is one of my favorite fish in Korea. It is called largehead hairtail, belt fish or swordfish because of its looong body. ^^

“Teokk” is steamed Korean rice cake made with glutinous rice flour.

Dried sea laver, dried squid, dried fish… everything dried… ^^
Koreans prepare or cook them as side dishes.

I like the sincere amiability of ajumma (married/older woman) and ajossi vendors. They are quite different from the ones I encounter on my commute. (Do you see the ajossi in the middle? He saw me taking a picture, and he waved and smiled at me. When I passed his stall, he even greeted me hello. Most of the time, older Koreans don’t greet younger ones first.)

It was the first time I saw “udong” (thick noodle soup) being sold in Janghyeon’s “o-il jang”. I wanted to try it, but I just ate “odeng” (fish cake).

Since o-il jang is a flea market, they sell almost everything… not only food, but also plants, housewares, clothes and shoes. (Sometimes they even sell “pets” like puppies and beetles, but on the day I took these photos, there were no animals in cages or boxes. Good thing there weren’t any. They’re the only ones I can’t bear to see on market day. T.T)

Can you tell what makes the three ajummas similar?
(I was glad I didn’t wear my pink sweater that day. ^^)

I was looking for a pyjama set for my Abonim (father-in-law), but to my surprise, they’re more pricey in the market.

After going to the bank, hubby and I took a walk together to see what’s new in “o-il jang”. They were selling cheap clothes for children, maybe as a preparation for Children’s Day.

The streets of Janghyeon come to life every five days. They remind me a lot of Apo in my hometown in the Philippines, a flea market located just outside Apo church, that opens every Friday of the year, from morning until midnight. The first time I took my husband to Apo, he was fascinated… just as I was the first time we walked around his town on o-il jang.

4 thoughts on “Five-Day Market in Janghyeon

  1. Pingback: Pop Rice « From Korea with Love

  2. i want to work in south korea and experience many things

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  3. Thank you, Ms. Brook. ^^

    Do you have flea market where you live? =)

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  4. This looks so fresh and fun! Especially the fresh fruits and vegetables and flowers. Everything looks so bright and beautiful. *Thank you.*

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