Notice: Guys, I’ll be doing some server moving beginning today (hopefully that puts and end to all those error messages and woes!!). This site should remain just as you see it (I’m crossing my fingers that it’s seamless and unnoticeable) but I have been known to eff things up, so if something glitches, you know why. Also, during the transition some comments MAY be lost — I think I’ll be able to recover the ones that fall through, but this is just to let you know it’s not you, it’s me. (No, really.) Sankyoo for your patience! *muah*
(Random) SONG OF THE DAY
Younha featuring Wheesung – “어린욕심” (Youthful Ambition). The title might translate more literally to “youthful greed” or “immature selfishness” but I don’t like that interpretation. 욕심 can be both a good or a bad thing — bad if you feel greedy to possess something, but good if it means you’re motivated and determined to earn something. So thus my preferred translation is “youthful ambition.” [ zShare download ]
CHAPTER 9: “There’s No Vienna Coffee in Vienna”
After blowing up at Han Gyul about his attitude toward the cafe, Eun Chan spends the night beating herself up about it. If only she’d kept her mouth shut, if only she didn’t talk back to the boss…
She walks into the Coffee Prince with her eyes averted, dreading the inevitable encounter with Han Gyul. She’s worried all night, and comes in looking haggard and tired. To her surprise, he’s nowhere to be seen. According to Manager Hong, he won’t be coming in today. She tries to ask if Han Gyul said anything regarding her, and Manager Hong merely gives her some tasks, then adds:
“Still, the boss isn’t a horrible person.”
“He said you were spouting nonsense because you’re a weak drinker, and it was the liquor talking, so we should cut you some slack.”
Eun Chan pricked up her ears and looked at him.
“He says he’ll have to do some taming.”
“Huh? Tame what?”
“He said he knows a good method for training bad-tempered dogs.”
“A dog? So he’s saying I’m a dog?!”
Seeing Nak Gyun and Ha Rim getting along better, and the taciturn Sun Ki smiling, Eun Chan wishes she could appreciate the sight more:
Ah, my heart! I should be in heaven, to be stuck between these three handsome guys, but ah, why am I so sleepy?
Eun Sae and her school friends drop by Coffee Prince, calling Eun Chan “oppa” and being all sorts of annoying. They ooh and ahh over the three other hot young men, gushing about their good looks. Eun Sae whispers to Eun Chan and uses the word “unni,” which freaks Eun Chan out because she’s afraid of being overheard. Heart thumping at the idea of being discovered, she shoos the girls out.
Meanwhile, the troublemaker Min Yub also drops by to challenge Eun Chan once again. This time he won’t settle for a measly eating battle, and demands that Eun Chan fight him. She tells him that as a Taekwondo master, she won’t use her skills in such a frivolous manner, and proposes a fighting-game battle instead. Min Yub takes up the challenge, but quickly loses. To his credit, he accepts his loss with grim silence and zooms off on his motorcycle.
We get a good look into Han Gyul’s psychology as his older brother sits him down for a talk one morning (they both live in the same luxurious house with their parents). His brother, Han Kyu, tells him to come into the company, which Han Gyul doesn’t care to hear. He tells his brother that he’s made a deal with their grandmother and he’ll be sticking to it. Besides, he has no business going into the company — he lays out his unsatisfactory education, saying he went to the States to party and have fun and meet girls. He hardly got any studying done. Who’d want a guy like him in the company anyway?
Han Kyu says one name — Chris Choi — and startles Han Gyul. He’s the top earner at the investment banking firm Morgan Stanley. He doesn’t outright say it, but it’s clear that Han Gyul has been hiding his business acumen from his family, preferring to appear careless and untalented.
“So there was a reason Grandfather favored you. When we were young, don’t you remember him asking us all those questions when he was bored? Like, what would you do if you have a thousand won [a dollar] but wanted to buy hundred-thousand-won [$100] skates? Whenever all us cousins got together, he’d invariably ask those questions. Do you remember what your answer was?”
“I don’t know, can’t think of it.”
“You said Grandma would buy them for you, since your birthday was coming up. So with your thousand won, you’d buy the helicopter you wanted.”
“I made such an ordinary answer?”
“But Grandfather liked it. Said you were a guy who didn’t want to part with either your thousand won or the skates. No matter how much you say you aren’t anything to the company, Grandfather always had you in mind. Whenever he drank and the topic of his successor came up, he said, ‘Only Choi Han Gyul will do’ and the mood would become strained. Younger Uncle, the cousins, even the shareholders know this. That’s why you’re needed right now.”
Han Gyul brushes his brother off, who tries to make another appeal, saying Han Sung seems to be up to something. At Han Gyul’s indifference, his brother bursts out, “Punk, Dad might even be investigated!” Han Gyul sardonically notes that there are lots of things their Dad might get caught for — tax evading, slush funds, dummy accounts. He says given how their father took over the company after their uncle’s death (Han Sung’s father), “Han Sung has reason enough to be resentful.”
Han Kyu accuses Han Gyul of taking the wrong side, and Han Gyul rather maturely answers that there’s no such thing as sides when they’re all family. They all share blood — but he thinks to himself, “Except me.”
He’d overheard his parents arguing years ago, and came to understand that he was adopted from some poor, pitiable life in the countryside.
I think this has everything to do with why Han Gyul is resisting the company and has been living as a frivolous indolent, playing around and not caring to work. He doesn’t feel he belongs in the family company and won’t take his place there. Aside from the possibility that it honestly isn’t his cup of tea (or coffee), he doesn’t feel he has the right.
At the cafe, Han Gyul continues to train his Coffee Princes in learning more about coffee. He’s gratified to see everyone starting to show their newfound knowledge. The title of this chapter comes loosely from the fact that his drink demonstration here is on how to make a proper cafe Vienna. All are gathered around, except for Eun Chan, whom they seem to have lost while the guys were out handing out promotional flyers. They just figure she’s probably out eating somewhere.
Leaving the cafe, Han Gyul drives his car through the rain, and practically has a heart attack when a dark figure appears in front of his car. He slams on the brakes, heart thundering, and gets out to see if he hit anything. There Eun Chan crouches, picking something up from the ground. She looks up and apologizes. Recognizing her face, Han Gyul yells at her for being careless, awash in relief and growing anger at the near-miss.
Han Gyul sees the flyers in Eun Chan’s hands and asks if she’s been out all this time, handing them out. She says no, she finished that.
“But those people just threw them out on the streets. I thought it might look bad for our cafe’s image, so I picked them up. We put so much effort into planning this. We used the best paper and made it all nice, so it’s such a waste. We should dry these and hand them out again tomorrow.”
“So you mean you’ve been walking around in this rain all this time, picking those up?”
At that moment, Han Gyul stared intently at the rain-soaked Eun Chan. Seeing his soaked hair and face, he felt a strange feeling. An impulse that he shouldn’t be feeling, a heavy lump in his chest that made him want to give him a hug, suddenly arose.
“Geez, you dummy.”
In an effort to hide this strange feeling, Han Gyul exaggerated his rebuke.
Han Gyul orders Eun Chan into his car. When she declines, saying she has to go home for dinner, he tells her he’ll buy her food, and hands her a towel from his trunk (from going swimming the day before) to dry off. She smells cologne on the towel and balks when he says he used it, although he insists it’s clean.
Han Gyul snatched the towel from the grimacing Eun Chan and carelessly rubbed it over her hair.
“Ah! I’ll do it myself.”
“Stay still. Don’t even think about complaining how you can’t come to work because you caught a cold. I’ll fire you right away.”
“I won’t catch cold over that… Hey!”
“Anyway, you’ve got really thick hair. Dry it off completely.”
Han Gyul handed over the towel and started the car, and drove toward the hotel. The fingers grasping the steering wheel tingled again. Every time he touched that guy’s hair, it was like electricity was flowing……
/end Chapter 9.Tags: books, Coffee Prince the novel