Saturday, May 11, 2013

Hongdae Free Market

I've been wanting to go to the Hongdae Free Market market all year and finally everything fell into place. Today was a perfect day for the market, it was sunny and warm and we didn't have any plans. This market is small and it's mostly local artists selling their art. It is amazing. I want to go every Saturday.

The kids and I picked up Leanne and Katie near Gangnam. Leanne and I are getting better at navigating and we made it all the way to Hongdae (and across the Han River, which is kind of a big deal) without getting lost at all. We found parking on the street and started walking toward the market.
Hongdae is a touristy place, so of course we were
able to get directions
 and a map from these ladies

Here are some examples of what was being sold there today:

This is WooHee. She draws cool pictures of owls. 
I bought some for our bedroom
This guy was selling awesome leather accessories. 
I bought this cuff from him (below)

wind chimes
live music
About a quarter of the sellers at the market are people drawing portraits. Some are characatures, but some are really nice portraits. I found this woman  who drew very colorful pictures on either pages from books or sheet music and the pictures are very cute. 
camera was being weird, so you get the vertical view, sorry.
Ruby is the one in the pink, August is in the middle, Grace is in blue

Our friends Nalisha and Jay are getting married this summer. I have been looking for something nice to get them. When I saw these lovely portraits-again portraits, NOT characatures-I thought this would make a really nice gift. I thought this guy had the nicest portraits (look closely, those look nice, don't they?)

 I checked with him and he said to check in again in an hour. An hour later, there was a line of people for him. A bilingual person in line translated for me that it would only be 30 minutes more. There was no waiting list, you just had to get in line. I waited for 30 minutes and when it was my turn, I gave him my phone with this picture on it:
Aren't Jay and Nalisha a nice looking couple?
Well, here's their portrait:

Jay and Nalisha 4eva
Not bad-for a characature. He asked me what message I wanted him to write on it. I wanted it to say something silly in Korean and tell them it meant something nice. Katie and I discussed it and decided on "I hope you have one million babies". We called Katie's TA, Hannah, for some translation. As you can see (since there is no message) that conversation was confusing to both Hannah and the artist. Hannah talked to the artist who told her that he had painted a picture of me and my husband. So there was a lot lost in translation.

I wasn't sure how to give this to them. It's not the lovely gift I'd imagined, I considered not giving it to them at all, but lucky for me, right after we dropped Leanne off at the subway at Sunae, we saw Jay and Nalisha walking down the sidewalk. Since it's Korea, I just put the hazards on, parked the car in the street and told them the hilariously disappointing story. I will wrap this up for them and the next time they're at the carnival they can skip the characature drawing because they already have one.

I hate to sound so negative, it was just a lot of work for a result that I wasn't expecting. Overall, though, we had a great time and I can't wait to go back.

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