Fun Cafe Board Game Room, City Hall, Jeju, South Korea, 시정, 제주.
Fun Cafe Board Game Room
Story by Joseph L’Esperance | Photo: Jim Saunders
When I was told about the “board game bang,” you may be able to sympathize with what I imagined. A small, simple entrance, which revealed the small, dimly lit hallway leading to a similarly lit room. Only, instead of six television sets and two microphones on the wall, I imagined shelves and shelves of board games!
So, when I got off the elevator at the 5th floor above Mr Pizza in City Hall, I was met with the English words “Fun Cafe” and behind those words, through the glass door, a bright, large, clean and new looking room revealed itself. I suppose my expectations explain why I stepped back, looked up and down the stairs, and muttered to my wife, “Is this it?”
As the group of teenage boys who were on the elevator with us squeezed past and we peered into the cafe, we were pleasantly surprised that the reported board game bang was actually the Fun Cafe. It was bright, large and full of tables and large comfortable chairs. Fitting of a cafe, the smell of coffee subtly filled the air. The cafe was filled with talking, laughter, shouts, cheers and a quite regular “beep, beep” sound (more about that in a minute). We found our way to a table and the helpful waiter came over with a menu. My early impression of a board game bang wasn’t totally off; there were shelves full of board games. There was Clue, Monopoly, Sorry (Disney Edition), Uno, Lord of the Rings, and Risk, just to name a few. You can look all of these up in the board game menu, with a brief description of the game, and an estimated time of game play. It was very helpful.
The waiter took our order of a latte and an iced tea and did his best to find us English games that would also be age appropriate for our nine year old daughter. A few minutes later he was helping a group of young girls with the how-tos of playing a new game. He was a waiter and game expert, I suppose.
Once we had settled in, it wasn’t long before the source of that “beep, beep” was revealed to us. A young girl arrived at our table with a giant plastic, air-filled hammer in hand. “Please hit me… five times.” My wife, initially reluctant, obliged the girl and proceeded to whack her on the head: “beep, beep, beep, beep, beep.” As we scanned the cafe, it became apparent that these giant hammers were some sort of punitive measure for losing a game or a round of game.
Of course, it wasn’t long before our daughter had a hammer in hand and was whacking us after every turn. It also wasn’t long before other young Koreans were politely asking us to whack them. I suppose there was some added novelty to getting whacked by the waegooks.
Unfortunately the time came when we had to pack up the games and pay the surprisingly small amount for our almost hour there. The Sorry and the dice game we played were fun, but I think I need to go back and play an intriguing game of Risk!
For some good, clean fun in City Hall check out the Fun Cafe. Not exactly a board game bang, but maybe better than what you’d expect.
The Fun Cafe is located on the fifth floor of the ‘Mr Pizza’ building in City Hall. It’s directly next to the 5:16 bus stop (going to Seogwipo over Hallasan).
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