To market, to market ... (late 2000)
(Please read this before you copy our photos or text.)

Here we are on the bus. Even though cars and SUVs are multiplying - they seem to be conquering the Earth - in Korea the almighty bus driver still rules the streets, at least for now. Kangnung (Gangneung) has a truly outstanding mass transit system which covers the city and a good bit of the nearby countryside.

For better and/or worse, Korea keeps looking to the west for ideas. Younger people especially are discovering that supermarkets are convenient (and have big parking lots). This means that the traditional markets are beginning to decline. Shoppers prefer indoor stores with bright fluorescent lights. Most of the traditional market vendors are now elderly. As they retire and die, who will replace them?

But for now, hundreds of merchants still hawk their products in Kangnung's traditional markets and on the sidewalks nearby. Most of them don't own cars - they can't afford them. While some of them now buy and sell the exact same wholesale vegetables you can get in the stores, there are still a few who grow and gather their own.

Early in the morning, these greens sellers pick their vegetables in their gardens or gather them on the mountains, tie them up in their colorful cloth pojagi, and catch the bus into town to claim their spots on the sidewalk.

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