RonRoen

The Bromidic Introvert

Daegu 대구 – Hogsmeade Cafe 호그스미드

18 Feb 2017
Ronald Roen

“Why Daegu?” – My friends questioned my decision for my trip to the quiet city in South Korea.

My sole reason of going to Daegu was mainly to go to Hogsmeade Cafe – a themed cafe based off – you guessed it – Harry Potter. [Hogsmeade is the name of an only all-wizarding village.] And so far, it is the only Harry Potter themed cafe to be established in South Korea. And potterheads in South Korea are raving all about the cafe on their blogs!

As I make my way to Gyeongsan from Daegu (man…I should have taken the ITX from Seoul to Gyeongsan station, which was right across the neighborhood where Hogsmeade was at.) I realized that the cafe was situated smack dab in the heart of a residential area, with tall apartment blocks surrounding the area. And hills too!

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Eyes switching from the road, to the map. After a few wrong turns, at last I found it – Hogsmeade Cafe. Where is it? The map showed that it was near a school and so, I let the sounds of children playing to guide me there. And there it was, right in front of the school gates.

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The cafe has a cozy atmosphere to it. It was dimly lit with brown cabin-like feeling to it. There was a digital(?) fireplace and the top, adorned with wizarding artifacts. From books to a potion apparatus, to details like wands, sorting hat and Potter’s glasses. There was also a huge Gryffindor tapestry, with the smaller Slytherin tapestry hanging from the ceiling.

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To the side, there is the Nimbus 2000, where patrons could grab a robe and scarf and pose for a picture. How neat!

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After taking in the sights, I made my way to the counter and placed my order of ‘Tiramisu and Butterbeer’. I am no cake/desert connoissuer but the tiramisu was not great. But the Butterbeer is of more importance! It is after all, the only place in South Korea serving Butterbeer (as far as I could tell). Butterbeer, despite its name, is not beer. I am sure the potterheads who has been tot he Wizarding World in Universal Studios, would know but for those who don’t – it is a non-alcoholic sweet, butterscotch soda drink. Very sweet. And with the added chocolate chips on top, it was very, very sweet.

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It was 2pm, I expected it to be busier as the nearby school has ended its’ classes. But alas, there were only the 4 of us – 2 visitors (and from their shenanigans, they  must be fellow travelers), the barista and me. For the next hour, I sat there – reading my book, ingesting my Butterbeer and watching the potter-struck travelers. With the constant kpop music playing, the magic of a Harry Potter themed cafe has slowly dissipated. And also having satisfied my potterhead side, I left the cafe and made my way back to Daegu.

PS. with my limited Korean language knowledge, I spotted a sign saying that the cafe would be renamed to “King’s Cross in Urban”. Makes me wonder if they had a trademark issue as I understand that the word “Hogsmeade” has been trademarked by Warner Brothers.

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Well, you can ask them yourselves. Here is their Facebook Page: 호그스미드

How did I get there:

  • Take the Daegu Subway to Sawol Station and exit at Exit No.2.
  • Near the exit, there is a bus stop – Board the bus 100-1 for 5 stops and alight at Oksan Woobang Apartment stop.
  • Cross the street, passing through the Gyeongsan Train Station and walk towards the school.

Alternatively,

  • Take the ITX from Dongdaegu or Daegu Station (10,000won+) and alight at Gyeongsan Station.
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My Next Reading List? (From The Art of Manliness)

29 Nov 2016
Ronald Roen

One of the earliest articles we published on the Art of Manliness was “100 Must-Read Books for Men.” The piece was a result of a collaboration between the AoM team and a few guest writers. The list was certainly decent enough, but some of the guest picks weren’t books we would personally recommend. So too, over…

via 100 Books Every Man Should Read — The Art of Manliness

“What to do Tomorrow…”

12 Sep 2016
Ronald Roen

Graduating from University, instantly thrusts you into the huge, wide world. And now, I am at the age where most people would feel unsure of what to do or where I am going. At least, that is what I am feeling now.

Grind through frustrations for wealth?

Learn to enjoy what you have to do?

Seek what you enjoy and be satisfied?

I really have no idea what I want and yet, unsatisfied with what I need to do.

So, I decided to take a gap year after a 3 year job where I feel that I am working and yet, not. Everyday just passed as another day. Like a factory machine, an endless cycle of action filled with feeling of mundanity – to the point that you have loss sense of dates and time.

“Wait, what day is it? I can’t tell…I have been doing this everyday. Lets just call everyday ‘Monday’.”

The reason for that gap year was that I wanted to take time, and discover -what, how, where and when-.

“What” is my aspirations

“How” to dispose of my childish dispositions

“Where” do I really want to be

“When” to -grow up- and accept realities

It is already the 6th month of my gap year. And I still have no idea.

But, I will still look forward, to the day where I will know the answers and, the excitement Teddy (Robin Williams’ Theodore Roosevelt) has for tomorrow.

Larry: I have no idea what to do tomorrow…

Teddy: How exciting!

– Conversation between Larry & Teddy, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb

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Life is like being lost, apparently.

The more you struggle,

The more confused you get about which path to take.

But,

A person’s life is very long.

It is much too early for you to decide who you are.

So, there is no need to rush things.

Take your time, and enjoy the journey.

– An Advice from an Old Man

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