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Our Crappy Experience at the Coffee Prince Coffee Shop – WANK

July 6, 2012


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I’m telling you, there was something mighty foul about our attempt to film this WANK. The universe was fighting against it, really really really fighting against it.

So here’s the deal: last week we filmed our Samgyeopsal and Soju FAPFAP late Wednesday night, at something after midnight. Why? We were filming our WANK in Hongdae that day, but then – all of a sudden, mid filming – all of our batteries died. Even our backup battery. Just PFFFFT done. Finished. We went to the Canon shop close by to try to pick up some new batteries or chargers and PFFFT that place had shut down. Cross the street to the department store to try to get it there. Also, no luck. So we filmed the FAPFAP that night instead, and decided to film the rest of the WANK the following week on Wednesday, which was yesterday.

Fast forward to two days ago at the ZE:A Interview event. Our interview with them was great, by the way, and we filmed it all and are almost finished editing it. But, right after filming our interview with them, we try to go to their showcase to film some of that…and our camera broke. It just wouldn’t read any memory cards anymore. We tried four different memory cards, all of which said “NOOOOOOOOOOO I WON’T READ YOU!” So we thought that we’d have to buy a new camera, which – let me tell you – video cameras ain’t cheap! Luckily, we have a friend who let us borrow their camera while ours is at the repair shop for the next two weeks. So, we do have a camera to still film with.

And then comes the silliness that occurred yesterday. We made it back to Hongdae, with all of our gear, and were all ready to film the WANK. We had planned on going to the Coffee Prince Coffee Shop. If you don’t know what that is, one of Korea’s best dramas ever took place there. We wanted to go and re-enact some scenes and have some general lols. Well, we came up to the coffee shop and started filming our intro to the shop and directions on how to get there, when their staff comes out and says “NO PICTURES and NO VIDEO” before we even enter the coffee shop.


So I – Martina here – ask to talk to the manager so that I could explain that we’re not working for a TV show or anything like that. We’re bloggers, and we want to promote their coffee shop to our audience, so that people would know how to find it when they visit Korea. Instead of giving a decent answer in an apologetic tone, the manager was so rude and responded grumpily that his coffee shop was private property, and that no one is allowed to take pictures or videos. And I’m not over-reacting here. I’d understand if there was some reason behind this banning of photography and video. I just wasn’t given a shred of decency from this guy. Instead, he seemed SO angry that I would ask, and almost shoo-shoo’ed me away with a wave of the hand. Again, I tried to explain that we had come there just to film in his coffee shop since Coffee Prince was my favourite drama, but he was just gave a firm and stern “NO,” without even any eye contact, and rudely walked away.

Now look: I totally get someone politely saying, “I’m really sorry, but we just don’t allow filming and pictures in our coffee shop, it disturbs the vibe, bothers the customers, I’m allergic to the chemicals in film, [some bogus reason or another] I’m so sorry” and so on, but this guy was so quickly annoyed by it, and he refused to even look me in the eye. We’ve had stores tell us before that they don’t want to be on camera, and we understand them, and find somewhere else, but we’ve never been dismissed so brusquely before. Ever. For someone who is riding off the fame of an old beloved TV show, you’d think he’d be more understanding of people excited to visit the shop as a tourist. It seems more like he doesn’t care about making a good impressions, because he knows people will freely visit and give him money. Well screw that. I had lots of money to spend there, and I won’t give him a dime of it, and I strongly suggest none of you do so, either.

After all that, the waitress changes the story and tells me, “oh you can take pictures, but no video.” Okay, so which one is it? And what’s the reason for photos but no video? You’re still going to get my money when I buy your over-priced coffee. So I said, okay, thank you, and we went across the street instead to Coffee Lab, one of the most famous coffee shops in Hongdae–famous for making good coffee, not for having an asshat for a manager being the filming location of an old TV show.

Being rude to someone who hasn’t been rude to you and who has expressed how excited they are to be in your coffee shop is just a flat out dickheaded move in my books and I will not recommend anyone waste their money at this shop. The prices on the menu were so overpriced (as in, $7.00 for a latte..whhhhaattt??). Only one floor was open, the patio was dirty and closed, and the rest of the coffee shop was in dismally poor condition. This coffee shop certainly doesn’t embody the happy and light feeling of the true Coffee Prince Coffee Shop. Go there if you want your memories of the Coffee Prince drama to be crushed.

After this experience, we told our Korean friends about how disappointed we were and how rude this guy was, and it turns out there supposedly was a scandal a few years back about this owner. So MBC (the Korean TV station that had hosted the Coffee Prince show) had paid the coffee shop owner to keep the coffee shop with its memorabilia in tact, since it was such a popular location for tourists to visit. However, the owner was secretly charging tourists (especially Chinese and Japanese visitors) extra money to take photos and to be in the coffee shop. When MBC found out, they pulled their support of his shop and tried to open up a second location that wasn’t run by a shady manager. I remember seeing the other shop opening and being surprised that Coffee Prince would open a second shop, but now I don’t know what happened to the other shop. I’m guessing it closed down due to lack of visitors since it isn’t the original one. We also heard from other people who know the managers from nearby stores, and they all said they won’t support that shop because the manager is such a jerk. So there you have it! Essentially, this coffee shop is only in business because of the sign tacked above it. Stay the hell away from it.


Anyhow, after all was said and done, and the curse of the Coffee Prince had finally beat us into submission, we did the only thing that we could logically do at that time: went to a kitty coffee shop and played with kitties. Much better experience, with lots of nice kitties. What are these kitties with such stubby legs?!?!?! Has anyone seen such cats before? I don’t know. All I know is all my feels are better after playing with them.

Ah! Sorry this WANK sucked, guise. Hopefully next WANK won’t be so sucky. Otherwise, we have some bloopers. Moar kitties involved!



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