A consequence of dense urban living is the infrequency of pet ownership. In response to this, numerous cat cafes have sprung up to satisfy the cat-cuddling urges of men, women and children alike. Coffee and refreshments are served while many people also purchase catnip to lure the wayward cat. Loud noises and flashes are prohibited, however one frequently hears a whole room exclaim in excitement as they whip out their cameras whenever a cat does something cute- like chasing a feather. The place we visited even shoots webcam footage so remote patrons can watch the cafe in real-time and post comments.
In addition to space, privacy is a precious component for any young couple’s developing relationship. This is hard to come by though, as most unmarried individuals live at home even if they are in their 30’s and professionally employed. This dilemma has been solved in a number of ways, from the more tawdry love hotels with their privacy curtains shielding the parking garage to the innocuous private coffee shops. These businesses, found all over Seoul, have created a new era in youth culture.
After squeezing a few kitten bodies, Barret and I headed to a game cafe. Instead of a table, these private rooms offer throw pillows upon a cushioned floor. Although the room is secluded, the labyrinth of numbered curtains is not sound proof. The dull chatter of companions, punctuated by periodic exclamations from the video gamers, is always present. The room fee, around $10 per person, entails a dessert, unlimited access to the colorfully adorned refreshment bar, and 2 hours of TV or Wii rental time. There was even a listing of restaurants which could deliver food to our booth. Olleh!
How to get there:
Line 2 Gangnam Station
Cat cafe: Godabang Cat Cafe
Room cafe: Cafe Rumi