Fish Marketing

Last weekend, I made a last-minute trip to Busan. Fortunately in Korea, last-minute trips are all the more possible. Buses are very cheap and leave multiple times throughout the day. You can show up to a bus terminal pretty much whenever and get a ticket, watch some Korean TV and be on a bus in less than half an hour.

I’d have to say the most interesting thing about Busan was the fish markets, both the indoor and outdoor ones. They are located near the water, and the outdoor one has every sort of sea creature imaginable, taken out of their aquatic environment and put on display to gleam in the sun and look ready for human consumption. I’ve seen live eels in water buckets a few places, but at this market, they actually skin them alive, and then leave the pink skinned eel bodies out in dry buckets to slither around without their epidermis, having their vien-lined guts popping out.

I was surprised by unidentified creatures, and how interesting they looked in a line of similar shapes, sizes and colors.

As well as ones I knew, but had never seen so many out of water.

It was a very crowded market, where it is impossible not to be pushed, bumped and moved by individuals or groups of people. One has to keep the best balance, as the ground is wet and the last thing you’d want to do is be an unfortunate victim of toppling over into one of the complex fish displays.

The indoor part of this strange market dimension was more organized, full of geometrically-lined, color-coded tanks. The people that worked there all wore aprons and rubber boots. I saw some rubber boots for sale before I entered this fish market realm, for those who don’t want to risk the fishy wet foot possibility. I refrained from eating anything from this market. Though my taste sense was not stimulated, sight, smell, touch and sound had quite an adventure.