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Get Your Puppy Fix in Jangsan

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Give Your Dog a Stylish Home – Get Up to 30% Off Dog Houses

It’s been five months since Jürgen and I lost our French Bulldog to cancer. We’ve been able to distract ourselves with travel, but every once in awhile (and especially after seeing a French Bulldog on the streets), I’ll feel that empty pang of sadness, and start wishing I had a dog again. Luckily, there’s a place in Busan where I can go to purge myself of such silly whims.

Puppy Cafe in Busan

Across the street from Exit 3 of the Jangsan Metro, there’s a pet store. On the bottom floor, it’s just your normal shop selling puppies and pet supplies. But upstairs, chaos reigns. This is the Puppy Cafe, where about twenty dogs of every species, age and size are running around, vying for human attention, wrestling with each other, pissing, barking and generally acting insane.

On entering the cafe, we were greeted by a deafening chorus of barks. “NEW HUMANS!” Of course, it was the biggest dogs who wanted to jump on us; a golden lab who needed to lick our faces (“I must!”) and a heavy black lab that almost knocked me down. Over the noise, the waiter (attendant? nanny?) asked us for the ₩8000 ($7.20) entry fee, then prepared a free coffee while we acquainted ourselves with the gang.

Let’s see, there was Stinky, Stanky, Stupid and Stonky. We sat down on chairs and pet whatever dog forced his way between our legs. The big ones were more successful in this, particularly the black lab who got to know my crotch on a rather intimate basis. One nasty little white dog in a coat decided to try adopting me, and sat at my feet shivering and snarling at anyone else who got too close. I didn’t really want to cuddle with her, but felt bad shooing away something so rotten and alone.

We moved into a separate area for the smallest dogs, and I found my favorite of the day: a snow-white Pekingese, so soft, cuddly and pliable. He had no problem with me picking him up, and immediately settled into a comfortable position on my lap. Jürgen welcomed a little pinscher onto his lap — two Korean girls who were there petting poodles told us that the pinscher was, and I quote, a “whore”.

The cafe was a blast; the dogs were cute, funny and friendly, and we had a great time playing with them, although we did stink like hell when we left. I’m surprised that more doggie stores don’t offer a place for people to sit and play with their dogs. Especially in a city like Busan, where apartments are small and schedules are hectic, dogs are a luxury that don’t fit into most people’s lives. A place like this, where you can come and get your puppy fix, seems like a no-brainer. And I’m sure the dogs love it.

Location on our Busan Map
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Stonken Cute
Korean Boss
Let-Me-Be-Your-Valentine
Dog Cafe Busan
Happy Dogs
Korean Husky
Let ME IN
Poodle Fuck
Rotten Dog
I want Treats
Doggy Pictures
Korean CAt

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June 20, 2012 at 9:37 am Comments (5)

Bookstore Alley

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Not far from Eatery Alley, we discovered Bookstore Alley: a tiny road jam-packed with an insane number of used bookshops, cafes and shoppers. With a history going back 50 years, this is one of the coolest corners we found in Busan, and a great place to spend a spare hour… even if you don’t read Korean.

Book Alley Busan

Although the overwhelming majority of the books in the alley’s fifty-odd shops are in Korean, there are quite a few English titles on the shelves, and it turns out that they’re amazingly easy to spot. It’s not like having to discern between French and English, for example. Amid all those completely foreign characters, your eyes gravitate right toward the familiar. For example:

해리 포터와 불사조 기사단
위대한 개츠비
로미오와 줄리엣
Encyclopedia Brown Gets His Man
전쟁과 평화
노르웨이의 숲 (소설)

Yes, Encyclopedia Brown Gets His Man was one of the books I found hiding on a dusty old shelf. Picking it up, I was mentally transported back to 1986, when I would sit on the kitchen floor with a magnifying glass and a book of my hero’s adventures opened in front of me (hey, I wore glasses and didn’t have a lot of geeky heroes to choose from). I’m certain I had the same edition as the one in this Korean bookstore.

The shops in Bookstore Alley are fun to browse, but so catastrophically full that they’re difficult to move around in. I dared to ventured into one store and bumped into a towering stack, very nearly toppling it. Under the watchful gaze of the owner, I carefully backed out and contented myself with the tomes visible from the street.

Location on our Busan Map
-Books For 1 Dollar

Book Alley Church
Book My Book
Buying Books in Busan
Cool Spot Busan
Cute Bookstore Busan
Man Reading Book
Book Seller Lady
Book Alley
Book Bargains
Old Korean Comics
Mangas Busan
Super Me Book
English Books in Busan
Child Reading A book
Buying Books in Busan
Book Witch
Korean-Book-Face
Love Note Busan
S Bean Coffee Busan
Art in Busan
Drawing Busan

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May 16, 2012 at 1:53 am Comments (5)