I ate what?

Today was primarily about exploring the last few nooks and crannies of Busan that I could before packing up tonight and flying out tomorrow. I went with Pat to Taekwando this morning, took part in the stretching led by Sarah but elected to not join in with the sparring. I shot an entire roll of film there so hopefully some of the "action" shots will come out. After taekwando we finally sent off my post cards, Pat headed to to work and I finally headed to Nampo-dong.

Nampo-dong is basically yet another shopping district, however because it is situated right next to the sea port it is THE place for all manner of aquatic life. I was told to visit the dried fish area so dutifully headed there first. After you finally get over the smell of billions of tiny dried fish sitting in open boxes on the sidewalk you notice that there are, well, billions of these little inch long shrivled sardines that clearly must be in high demand as they don't look all that old. I got a few pictures and moved on to the more interesting live and recently deceased fish section.

Having been tempered by the tub-o-squid exposure in Home Plus the giant vats of live eels and fishtanks overflowing with octopii didn't phase me much. There were quite a few older women sitting in little circles chucking oysters and clams content in their conversation. They didn't tend to smile a lot, though they didn't seem to really notice me as I snapped pictures from beneath my floppy leather hat (it had, of course, begun to rain). A dozen or so photos and I ventured out into the non fish streets of Nampo-dong.

Strictly speaking there wasn't a whole lot different between here and Saemyeon, mostly the same shops and odd assortment of street carts, but the streets did have names and I was finally able to track down the souvineer I'd saught. Mashmashiro is a dog/rabit/cat/ghost/whatever that seems to be popular on stationary and candy and who's general appearance I find quite amusing. He's also the only character besides the popcorn sheep (which just annoys me) that I've seen only in korea so I figured he'd make an ideal mascot. Using my extrordinarily limited korean I managed to ask how much the little figure was, understand the answer, pay and say thank you. Overjoyed with this accomplishment I stuffed mashmashiro into my backpack and headed back up to Saemyeon to spend a few hours before meeting pat after work.

Back in the heart of the area I was actualy familair with I bumped into Claire, another english teacher who was at taekwando this morning. The odds of this happening struck me as somewhat low, even counting the fact that if you see a caucasian person here chances are you know them by now, but no matter. After an enjoyable bout of dodge the homicidal buses we parted ways and I set about finding lunch - and that brings us to the subject line.

I settled on a tempura style hut tended by a disarmingly friendly old lady who liked to stab the food she was recommending with a wooden skewer. In total I tried some firey hot chilly sauce I had mistaken for something akin to sweet and sour sause, a deep fried boiled egg, some deep fried crab (I think it was crab) and what can only be described as fried white. It wasn't exactly meat or vegetable. not really any form of seafood that I was aware of. kind of chewy but not extremely flavorful. I finished the log, paid my 2000 won (about $1.70) got a picture and left.

Checking my list of things to do I appear to only have one thing left, to aquire another can of Picori Sweat (however it's spelled) as the last of my souvineers. I figure it will fit well next to the vegimite in the "dear lord how can people consume this stuff" wing of my collection. And I'm off...


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