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Journals from Spring and Fall, 2012 South Korea

2012-12-13 Cafe Culture Update: Puzzle and Hello Kitty Cafe

My time in Korea is winding down. Only ten more days until I head back to the States. I’ve been spending most of my time bringing people to all the places I still want to go to and studying in the PM. So the past couple days I have had an amazing encounter with the Puzzle Cafe and the Hello Kitty Cafe.

The Puzzle Cafe:

My first time at the puzzle cafe was a magical experience. I never realized how soothing a puzzle cafe can be and how wonderful it is to complete a puzzle! There is one about 15 minutes from the dorms that has a ton of Korean puzzles but also other famous ones as well. You have the option of getting one of the free ones that is about 150 pieces or you can buy a puzzle box there to build on a board that they provide for you. My friend and I just chose one of the 150 piece puzzles with cute fairy like toys on it. As we were putting together our puzzle we got our chocolate fondant and ice cream topped dessert with Apple Bake Tea. Although I had never heard of Apple Bake Tea, it sounded so good that we just had to try it. They make all their teas as natural as possible. So our Tea had actual chunks of Apple. As you can see in the picture they placed the tea on top of a candle holder to keep it warm for us as we stayed to finish up our puzzle. It seriously was such a relaxing time in the midst of finals coming up next week. I highly recommend this place. I also heard there is a Vegan Puzzle Cafe one station away that is also pretty awesome for those of you who are inclined to that. [Side note: I wouldn’t really recommend Korea as the place to go if you are a vegetarian or vegan. Korea is famous for their meat buffets, but not only that, vegetables and fruits are the most expensive things to buy here in Korea, so it takes a bit of getting used to--especially for the salad lovers because most vegetables in Korea tend to be picked or kimchified.]

The Hello Kitty Cafe:
As the picture above shows, everything is hello kitty in this cafe! It is like an overload of pink everything! Chairs, tables, mugs, windows, food, etc. are all in the shape of Hello Kitty! The picture is just a sample of how awesome this place is. I was surprised to find out that they have many different flavors of latte just like the many flavored hello kitty candies that they sell. The ones I came across when I went were Blueberry, Mint, Sweet Potato, and Green Tea. I’m sure there are many more, but these are just a few that I came across. I was also very shocked to find many guys in the building. I would have definitely thought they wouldn’t enter the door, but many of them were in the cafe with their girlfriends. It was quite an experience. I had the chance to go to one of the bigger ones in Hongdae. You can even tell it is a Hello Kitty cafe from the outside:

So just a couple of places that are definitely a “GO!” if you are ever in Korea! Take advantage of the Cafe Culture and immerse yourself in times to spend with the people of Korea and those that you meet in your classes.

Coffee Chat:
One of the coffee dates that I went on was with a few of my classmates in my religion class. One is from Germany but goes to college in Holland and is a part of the Unification Church; the other is from Morocco and is Islamic. We particularly wanted to get together because of our distinct backgrounds and religious views. We had the chance to have a very beautiful conversation concerning particular parts of each of our religions and being able to share with one another. This is just one of many experiences I had to meet with people around the world and to share knowledge with them as well.

Don’t miss out on the things you can learn from your peers and making fun with the things that you already have.

Happy Reading!

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