Here are some photos from our morning at Namdaemun Market, which is a sprawling traditional market. You can get everything from fresh fish to Supreme knock-offs, street food to G-Dragon posters, unless you’re with Henry who will act like a tight-wad dad every time you want to buy something and then throw all the money at you when you remind him that it’s your money and he’s just holding it. NOT THAT THIS HAPPENED.
You gotta allow for one blow-out a day when traveling with your family, I guess.
Once we got that out of the way, the rest of our time in Namdaemun was swell!
My favorite part was when Henry asked someone from the tourist information center where the market was and in the politest way possible, she circled it on the map instead of just flat-out saying, “You’re standing in it, dumbass.”
Being a Tuesday morning, it wasn’t overwhelmingly crowded, but i can only imagine what this place is like on a weekend.
The lady selling dduk kept saying, “Cute, so cute” to Chooch. Later in the day, we were in one of many subway stations of the day (Henry is turning us into mole people because he always second-guesses himself and then we have to stop while he stares at the subway map for so many minutes), Chooch was going to sit down while waiting for the train, but two older men sat down first. There were still two empty seats so they were like, “No, sit! Sit!” and I shooed him back over there because people were being friendly and that is always such a relief to encounter in a foreign country! So he was sitting with these two ahjussis, and only one spoke a bit of English, so he just kept saying, “Handsome boy!” to Chooch and asked him general questions like his age and where he’s from, and then he would relay the gathered intel back to his non-English-speaking friend. Then another ahjussi came over and they were saying “Handsome boy!” to him and pointing at Chooch. We all got on the train together, but our stop was before theirs so they waved and said goodbye to Chooch which was just the cutest thing in the whole world. I love old guys so much (insert Henry joke) because I see my Pappap in so many of them.
“I wish the guys here in their 20s would say ‘Pretty girl!’ to me as much as you get ‘handsome boy’ said to you,” I whined to Chooch and he was so disgusted.
Anyway, back to Namdaemun!
Ugh, handsome boy.
When we first got to Namdaemun, we walked through this narrow alley full of street food vendors and actual restaurants. An elderly woman started excitedly calling out to us in Korean, waving her arm toward the doorway of her restaurant while pointing at all of the dishes she had available. She was so adorable, but it was only 10:30 and we weren’t ready for lunch yet.
However, we kept her in mind and instead of filling up on fried goods, we made our way back to her alley and she happily ushered us inside and suggested various tables for us to sit. She had so much energy!
What a great decision. I got mandu and dduk soup and it was exactly what I needed. I don’t know what Henry got, and Chooch ordered sticky noodles which came with a whopping dollop of gochujang, but that kid powered through like a champ. He is really trying! We were so worried about what he was going to eat here because he is notoriously picky, and he usually will pout if we go somewhere he doesn’t want to be.
One of the ahjummas brought him a fork, lol.
This place was LEGIT. Each table had a freaking pot of kimchi.
As we were leaving, I turned around to take a photo, and that sweet lady totally was waiting for it. Look at her back there smiling!
Be back later!