Elwood 5566

Street Vendors

Posted in Photo diary, seasons by 노강호 on December 10, 2010

One of the most common sights in Korea are the street vendors who peddle everything from snacks and vegetables, to meat, fish and bicycle repairs. There are many different kids of street vendors from the ones who travel around an area with a street market to people who pull up on the side of the road in small trucks from which goods are sold to the little old ladies who sit around towns with a selection of vegetables strewn  on a sheet on the ground.

I’m a total sucker for the old ladies and will often stop to buy something though I’m told they’re not poor. Last week, I saw a woman from whom I regularly buy spinach, unload her groundsheet from the back of a new range rover-type vehicle, probably owned by her son, and then start laying out her cabbages and lettuces.

the crossroad by my school where the Monday Morning market meets E-Mart

the grandmas are always laughing and a bottle of makalli (rice wine) is usually in the background

in the hear of Monday Morning market

This side streets specializes in vegetables, curd, and beansprouts

Late summer

The market directly outside my school

garlic in the Sunday market, the surrounding air was tainted with it’s smell

The street market outside Lavender Sauna, near Dong-Daegu KTX Station

in the rural town of Gor-Yang

cabbages in a more abundant season – winter 2008

Creative Commons License

© 林東哲 2010 Creative Commons Licence.

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2 Responses

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  1. prestigeekorea said, on January 1, 2011 at 9:53 am

    I often wonder what forces drive a person to buy from one vendor versus another. Do they go for the best price? Are they motivated by loyalty to a certain seller? Are they supporting their neighbors by buying from the street vendors as opposed to E-Mart? Is it shear convenience? Is it pity, seeing these seemingly poor old women toiling away on the sidewalks? Most people have told me that they aren’t poor as well… in fact one Korean told me that a Ddokbokki seller in my area regularly clears 20million won a month after covering costs.

    • Nick said, on January 4, 2011 at 11:40 pm

      Jake, personally you missed the one thing that attracts me to a street vendor and that is how poor, cold, hot, tired or neglected they look. Yes! I am a sucker for anyone who looks like they might be suffering and the old grannies are even higher on the list. Sometimes I’ll see an old granny with no customers and a couple of vegetables at her feet and before you know it my hand is on my wallet and I’m buying something I don’t even need. And I too have heard stories of ones who aren’t really hard up and even ones who buy their vegetables in the supermarket and sell them on the street to give themselves something to do. How true they are I don’t know. Thanks for the comments.


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