This is where my mom used to walk as a little girl with her mom and now with me. It’s comforting to know that my grandmother used to take the bus for 30 minutes to Dongdaemun Market and walk on these same streets to run errands 42 years ago. After all this time, we rested at a place to have a bowl of spicy cold noodles / Bibim Naengmyeon just as she had years then.
Along the streets in Dongdaemun market, you can find the sights and smell of Korea in alleys covered in silk, naturally dyed fabric, handmade trinkets and food. You can sit and share a meal in a communal area where everyone’s there to enjoy a snack / a quick meal / to be fascinated by what was there before and now.
I associate my life with my mother’s past by the sights and smells of the market. I’ve never got to meet my grandmother, since she passed away before I was born. But I’m certain that we would’ve shared family secret recipes, made thing and enjoyed them together.