South Korea leads the world in themed cafes (cat cafes, board game cafes, design a doll cafes etc...) . I don't understand why this hasn't caught on in the West to the same extent. Probably because South Korea actually has a dating culture where people go out and spend time getting to know one another, in contrast to New Zealand at least, where for most, it involves lubricating your esophagus in half a pint of 42 Below, in a bar where your feet stick to the floor, before you can talk to someone (if, by that point, you can remember who it was you wanted to talk to in the first place and if in fact you can hear each other over the Britney-Pitbull remix).
Anyway, if you find yourself in Seoul, I have a themed cafe recommendation for those who like a little weird with their side of Hot Chocolate.
Princess Diary Cafe
Location: Take Exit 3 from Ewha's Women's University Subway Stop (Line 2/Green line), walk until you spot Starbucks, turn right and look up!
Weddings are a huge thing in Korea. The culture really expects you to get married. In New Zealand, a lot of my friends are married by my age (29) but a lot also aren't, and our society doesn't judge you for it. It's not "mandatory" and we are very open to different ways people want to live their lives, there is no "one way".
Not to say that Korea is intolerant, but that the norm is to get married between 28-35. It is highly unusual not to get married and the pressure to get married is keenly felt by those approaching and within that age bracket. There are a number of reasons for this but that is another blog post entirely.
With an incredibly high percentage of marriages happening here, you can imagine the Wedding business is booming. Hair, make-up, dresses, event halls, cars, caterers, photographers, flowers etc...
But for those that aren't quite ready to walk down the isle, why not visit the Princess Diary Cafe? Here you can try on a Wedding Dress (or a Hanbok - traditional Korean dress), choose short or long, strap-less or high-necked. Prices generally range from about 10,000 (low end) - 40,000 (high end) Korean won (about $9.50-$37.60US/$11.50-$45NZ)
It is mandatory to buy a drink but that is a fairly cheap affair (5,000-7,000won).
There are various props you can pose around with until your heart's content (including cowboy hats, a rocking horse, a piano, tiger ears, tiaras etc...).
It's a great girly day out. But you will also see Korean guys there from time to time with their girlfriends.
One hundred day anniversaries are really popular in South Korea and sometimes boyfriend and girlfriend will dress up in Wedding attire and get a photo to celebrate reaching 100 days in their relationship, 200 days, 300 days etc...
Here are some of my photos of me being my own bride, or as I said at the time "I married myself because I'm so awesome...".
Keep in mind I did purposefully choose the poofiest dress I could find for comedy's sake and this is not what I would choose to wear if I did end up getting married at some point.
Will I get married? The future is wide open. I'm open to it happening, I'm open to it not happening. If it's right, it's right, if it's not, it's not. I'm ok with whatever journey I take. I have a good life.
And let's be honest I have some quirks that make it a pretty hard task to achieve...
1. I have a resting bitch face.
2. I'm not the most social person so guys don't really get much of a chance to meet me, or me to meet them. (ie. I avoid clubs, pubs and most parties like the plague and yes, this resulted in me being unofficially labeled the "weird girl" through high-school and college - thanks...).
3. I'm quite a difficult person to get to know past any superficial level.
4. I'm shy.
5. I'm travelling.
Put those all together and you get: HELLO SOLO! : |
So at least I got to wear the poofy dress once, thanks South Korea. x
P.S. special thanks to my friend Kirsty who was my long suffering photographer on the day!