I lied. I said the next post was going to be about Everland but then I finished sorting through the photos and I’m already tired, ugh. Everland was a long day! So let’s skip that for now and fast-forward to the next day (Tuesday 3/27) when we went to the Raccoon Cafe in Hongdae!
This was one of those bones we keep in our back pockets to throw to Chooch every now and then so he forgets about all the shitty parenting moments we have, but let’s face it — it’s not like Henry and I were completely adverse to going to a freaking raccoon cafe!
I’ll write more about the Hongdae area at length in another post because it just might be my favorite part of Seoul, but for now, let’s just talk about raccoons!
If you’re into novelty, themed cafes, Seoul has got your kitschy ass covered. They have a wealth of PC and VR cafes (obvi), a phone case cafe where you literally go to drink cafe and hot glue sequins and flesh to a phone case, poop cafes, Hello Kitty cafes, and an array of animal cafes. Pittsburgh has a cat cafe now, so we didn’t do one of those, but it was hard to choose between the meercat cafe, sheep cafe, and raccoon cafe. (And yes, Chooch tried to get us to go to all of them but I was like THERE ARE TOO MANY GENTLE MONSTERS TO CONQUER, COME BACK TO KOREA ON YOUR OWN TIME.)
Ultimately, the raccoon won because Chooch was watching a video on YouTube and saw that they also have dogs, and of those dogs, there is a Corgi and a Shiba Inu. So, that was easy.
Plus, raccoons are fucking adorable.
(Henry hates raccoons because they hang out in the dumpster at his work and he has early morning arguments with them.)
It’s a little misleading because you’re not actually allowed to take your drinks in the room with the animals, which of course is 100% understandable! But if you have an image of sipping an Americano and writing some BTS fanfiction while a raccoon sleeps in your lap….just know it’s not like that.
Anyway, the first thing we had to do was get yelled at by the barista for failing to read the sign when we walked in which said in large letters TAKE YOUR SHOES OFF AND PUT AL OF YOUR BELONGINGS IN A LOCKER OR GTFO.
Maybe that wasn’t the exact wording.
So we had to go back to the entryway with our dumb American heads hung low and have a do-over with Following Directions, and then we had to wait for Big Foot Henry to find a pair of house shoes that fit his dumb wide feet, and then finally we were able to buy our drinks and pay for our raccoon meet-n-greet. (8,000 won I think it was per person? So, a little less than $8. Worth it.)
I got a green tea latte and instantly realized that every green tea latte I’ve drunk here in the States has been a fat green lie. Take me in, Asia. HOLD ME AND NEVER LET ME GO.
Once I finished my drink (Chooch made me inhale it) I went to into a little vestibule where a girl employee asked me if my pockets were empty and I said because I had taken all my change and lip gloss out but she was like, “ARE THEY?” and I was like,” Well, I guess I have this scrap of a gum wra—” and she pointed to the exit before I could even finish and wouldn’t let me back in until each pocket was as empty as Trump’s soul.
Then I walked in and got mauled by eight dogs and raccoons because when you live with cats, you are marked, my friends.
Chooch’s review: “CORGIS!”
He honestly spent most of the time with the corgi, taking pictures of its butt, filming it getting its nails clipped…here’s his Instagram post about it.
So, I did have a raccoon in my lap at one point and I was like, “AW YOU LOVE ME” but he was just rooting in my jacket pockets for trash. Suddenly, that girl’s garbage-sternness made a lot of sense.
Henry made a friend with this boy but it turned out the dog was just trying to hide from the Nail Clippers.
This guy was my favorite! He hung out in a hole in the wall the whole time, baiting people.
Henry went over to say hi and the raccoon immediately tried to take his hat off and then stole his glasses right off his face – it was amazing.
“Please put your phone down and help me get my glasses back,” Henry hissed, but he was actually smiling and having a nice time too which was weird.
I was really excited that the raccoons were so outgoing. You didn’t even have to seek any out! I sat down on a bench the whole time and they all took turns coming over to inspect me. The only time we were kind of scared was when several of the dogs started barking at each other and then two of the raccoons ran over and hid behind Henry and me. I was afraid they were going to go on the defensive and attack us but then they lost interest in whatever the dogs were riled up about and went back to waddling around the room.
Henry just walked by and I asked him if he has anything to add and he said he’s not doing anything for me anymore WOW JUST WOW and also hilarious because he literally just came back from getting me an iced latte haha forever spoiled, hate me.
That was an hour well-spent! And as soon as we left, Chooch missed a step (the cafe is on the 4th floor of a building) in the stairwell, sprained his ankle and collapsed. There was that scary 2-second delay where everything just stops and you’re praying that your kid isn’t going to cry, but then he burst into tears and all I could think was OMG WHAT’S THE KOREAN WORD FOR HOSPITAL, THINK ERIN, YOU KNOW THIS because a kid writhing in pain clearly isn’t enough context clue for someone to crack the language code and know what you’re asking for.
Luckily, he was able to shake it off and although he spent the rest of the day limping (probably only 25% was legit), he was a trooper and never complained about it until we walked past a VR cafe and he reminded us about how he almost had to his foot amputated because his careless parents shoved him down an elevator shaft, but even then we were like NOT TODAY.
At least now he had an excuse to steal subway seats from ahjummas.
Yeah, so that was another installment of Erin’s Tour of Seoul – definitely check this place out if you’re ever in the Hongdae are and if you’re in Seoul you should DEFINITELY BE IN THE HONGDAE AREA unless you are a fucking square who hates cool shops and street performers and being in close proximity to YG Entertainment (where my KING G-Dragon spent most of his life!)
After this, we checked out some super cool stores which will be in a later post, and then had dinner at Aori Ramen which I wrote about while we were still in Korea. Recapping this is so exhausting that I might need another vacation!