Evening quickly approaches as I walk through the maze that is Dongmun Market in the old part of Jeju City. Bright lights, colorful fruits and vegetables, smiles, laughter. I can feel the electricity and good cheer in the air as the market’s stall owners eagerly wait for their final customers before packing up for the day. A grandmother and her granddaughter, hand in hand, playfully skip past tables of fresh fish. Its a great scene, but I want more.
I enter a side alley eager to find some hidden surprise. It’s darker here, hidden from the bright lights just a few meters away. I round a corner and I find what I’m looking for: a group of food stalls selling hot Korean snacks. Steam rises from their pots of odeng (fishcake) and tteokbokki and lingers around the lights above them as people gather around for a chat. Nearby, an older woman shrouded in steam slowly stirs her pots, her face glistening with sweat. On the other side, the silhouette of a man cleaning his grill. What atmosphere!
Regrettably, my night ends. Stalls close up. People say their “good nights.” A “halmoni,” or grandmother, rushes past me, a huge backpack weighing down her shoulders as she disappears into the night. As I walk to the exit I look to my left and see a lone woman walking down yet another alley, passing a shop seller along the way. He gives her a nod and a quick wave. I leave feeling a sense of community here. A sense of history. A sense of pride.
Douglas MacDonald is a Canadian-born English teacher and freelance photographer. He has spent 10 years documenting life and landscapes in Jeju and is a regular contributor to The Jeju Weekly. He won a “Fine Arts" prize in the 2010 Jeju UN World Heritage International photo contest. You can see more of his work at flickr.com/photos/dmacs_photos.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
All materials on this site are protected under the Korean Copyright Law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published without the prior consent of Jeju Weekly.
Mail to email@example.com | Phone: +82-64-724-7776 Fax: +82-64-724-7796
#505 jeju Venture Maru Bldg,217 Jungangro(Ido-2 dong), Jeju-si, Korea, 690-827
Registration Number: Jeju Da 01093 | Date of Registration: November 20, 2008 | Publisher: Hee Tak Ko | Youth policy: Hee Tak Ko
Copyright ⓒ 2009 All materials on this site are protected under the Korean Copyright Law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published
without the prior consent of jeju weekly.com.