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The Indigenous Creatures of Hongdae

February 10, 2010

…and I don’t just mean drunk foreigners coming out of Ho Bar(I-XX) *cymbal hit* (I am so, so sorry).

Big fluffy dogs, light of my life, though NOT, I repeat NOT the fire of my loins.

Anyway, here’s an obvious fact for everyone out there: Korean apartments are very small. There are no houses, no backyards. This means that there is no room for large pets, for the most part– people may have cats that roam around (like the loud ones that swarm around my apartment at night), small dogs that fit in jacket pockets, hedgehogs, or hamsters (RIP Otis/Knivel June 2008-February 2009). To remedy people’s wishes to see gigantic dogs or other kinds of animals, or people who prefer  to rent love, rather than buy it (I am all about petting and cuddling animals at my own convenience, without the pesky notion of ‘ownership’)– there is the (insert animal here) cafe.

The cutest lambs in all of Hongdae-dom. Perhaps the only ones.

I HAVE HAPPENED UPON A LAMB/SHEEP CAFE. Seriously. Though I was there the week the sheep were missing, though we did spot a couple lambs being walked to the cafe. A week before, says my friend, was a huge group of them right in front, and true, there was a large pen for them right in front. Kinda bizarre, kind of awesome.

Apparently there is a multitude of cat cafes (four, at my count), but I’m a little allergic (my eyes water, I get hives, a scratchy throat) so I’ll leave the reviews of that to my favorite cat-enthusiast (Yes, Hope, I am looking at you through my screen on to yours). There is one cat cafe, Balicat, which is more of a cat-themed place than a full fledged cat cafe. It has a bunch of cat kitsch and one very smushed faced fat cat that lounges around. They do put a cat face on your mocha, though.

Also, there is perhaps my most frequented animal cafe spot, the Bau House (insert your own jokes about architectural movements here). Which, I mean, is a mad house. Seriously. Basically you’ve got 15 or so dogs running, jumping, crapping, peeing (thankfully no humping, really), begging for snacks, being pet, sleeping, getting pictures taken of them, being picked up by children and fighting with each other,  all at once. And since you can bring your own dog there, they all go apeshit when there’s a new arrival. Thankfully, the diligent workers clean up all the waste and drool, so it’s pretty clean, if not bleachy smelling. The drinks are only so-so (but face it, that’s not why you’re there anyway), and conveniently capped, because dogs will frequently acquaint themselves with the top of your table. It is fun, if a little exhausting, and it gives me the sniffles… but for some reason I always take new arrivals and visitors there. I guess it’s my way of introducing Korea in a nutshell (it’s got the pandemonium, the excessive photography).

There are all kinds of dogs– all shapes and sizes. There are sleek greyhound looking ones (dunno what the formal name is, sorry), tiny ones wearing sweaters, curly tailed and curly haired ones, majestic looking all black wolf-faced onces, and  my personal favorite, the welsh corgi. Especially this one, the cute little shortlegged fatty:

Oh puppy.

Oh and if you do happen to have a dog at your home, you can buy him or her a hanbok:

In closing, good job Seoul. You’ve actually managed to cross of an item on my “wouldn’t it be great if there was a place where you could…” list. Now, do you want to tell me where a girl can rent a baby? (I am kidding. Very much so. Please don’t arrest me).

This just in: there is a bird teahouse?!

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One comment

  1. this post is amazing!
    also, (from the post below) where did you get your chejil measured?? how did it go? i want to do this.



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