Novel Notes: Coffee Prince Chapter 2
(Random) SONG OF THE DAY
Monni (몽니) – Beautiful [ zShare download ]
I’m about a quarter of the way through the novel (100 pages) and we’re still on the events of the drama’s episode 1. I draw two conclusions from this: (1) It always takes a bit of time setting up a story, and things will probably speed up much more once the ball gets rolling, and (2) I’m actually happy at the prospect that perhaps this means the drama cannot be exactly like the novel, since it will run out of material. I’m all for preserving the integrity of source material, but blow-by-blow accounts have the potential to be painfully boring. And, it’ll enable me to keep up the excitement of not knowing what’s going to happen in the drama, because there will be things that are not in the book.
So far, though, there isn’t much that contradicts what we know from the drama series, so most of this introductory stuff just rounds out what we already know with a little more depth. There are minor discrepancies in the story, but the general characterizations have remained intact..
First backing up a little:
In the PROLOGUE, Dandy Boy Han Gyul strolls into the rundown Coffee Prince to inform Mr. Hong he’s the new owner who’d bought the cafe. He’s well-dressed and arrogant, and Mr. Hong finds him insufferably rude, but serves him anyway. Eun Chan bursts in looking for her sister, who’s ditched classes yet again, probably to go on yet another singing audition.
Eun Chan reads the hiring notice posted (specifications sent in advance by Han Gyul) and laughs at the ridiculous requirements (good looking, popular with the ladies, single, tall…) but also notes she’s perfect for the job. Oh yeah, except she’s not male. But most people think she is, so she doesn’t let that change her mind. She’s shocked to hear Mr. Hong tell her he sold the cafe.
In CHAPTER 1, titled “ONE MONTH PRIOR, EUN CHAN’S 25th HOUR,” we’re introduced to Eun Chan’s family, her role as a Taekwondo instructor, and the other people in her life like Mr. Gu the butcher (and frustrated poet) and Mr. Hong.
We already know Eun Chan loves to eat, but I like little tidbits that show us a little more detail. For instance:
Her young Taekwondo students order pizza to eat in the studio after class, and invite Eun Chan to partake. However, when the pizza delivery arrives, Eun Chan feels embarrassed at letting the young kids pay for the meal (which they ordered when she wasn’t around), but at the same time doesn’t have money to spare, and pretends to be busy while the kids pay. Then, although she’s dying to eat up right away, she resists because if she didn’t pay, it would be kind of inappropriate for her to dive in, even though her student doesn’t mind sharing.
“The instructor did have pride. Eun Chan deliberately fussed around on her desktop. However, she could only hold out a few seconds, because of the pizza smell wafting through the air. On top of that, the children ate with such smacking sounds, she thought her ears would start drooling.
Seung Kyung took up a large slice and held it out to her. Ah, such a pretty little thing.”
Then, called away by Eun Sae (requesting the aid of her”oppa” to deal with an annoying, uncouth guy, Min Yub), Eun Chan arrives to engage in her jajangmyung-eating showdown with Min Yub:
“She ate with her face practically buried in the bowl, but her mouth remained undirtied. Eun Chan felt it would have been a waste of the jajang sauce to leave any on her face.”
Coming home, Eun Chan’s appetite is still unsatisfied and she digs around for some of her mother’s cooking — Eun Chan’s mother is a good cook of Western cuisine, particularly Italian (and she has a keen sense of smell). Eun Chan’s only complaint is that the portions are too small. Things come to a panicked halt when Eun Chan’s mother realizes she’s lost an expensive diamond ring borrowed from a friend. Crap.
CHAPTER 2: “ONE MONTH PRIOR, HAN GYUL’S 25TH HOUR”
In Chapter 2, we first meet Han Gyul, who’s just returned to Korea after spending the past few years in the States. Almost immediately, he avoids his family, which also includes a dutiful older (married) brother who’s gone into the family company.
Han Gyul has a bit of a distant relationship with Han Sung, although it’s not necessarily bad:
“Of all of Han Gyul’s cousins, he was most comfortable with Han Sung. He was also the one with whom he would’ve been furthest apart, but he wasn’t prickly or awkward with him. … In a phrase, they were both the type who could be friends even as they fought.”
Instead of a strong-willed granny, however, Han Gyul is mostly at odds with his extremely demanding father. This time, the ultimatum his father delivers is to either enter the family company or get married. Han Gyul doesn’t want to enter the company:”It was scary and he disliked it. He had no desire to run onto that brutal, isolating, and harsh battle turf.” His mother delivers the order and gives him a day to decide which it’ll be: work for his father, or get married.
“He saw no escape. … The company or marriage? Why don’t they just tell him to die instead, dammit!”
/end Chapter 2
As for spoilers, some people may want me to skip to the back and tell them what happens, but sorry! I don’t do spoilers. If I’m just lukewarm about something (most dramas), I won’t mind spoilers, but when I do like something a lot (Harry Potter — lalalalala I’m not listening), I’m a complete spoilerphobe. Sometimes I even avoid watching the short previews at the end of an episode because I want to be completely surprised.
What I can offer, meager though it may be, are the rest of the chapter titles.
Chapter 3: “Isn’t this a scammer’s set-up?”
Chapter 4: “What happened in Room S11”
Chapter 5: “Can’t disappoint the witch”
Chapter 6: “Would you like some bubble wrap?”
Chapter 7: “Good dogs don’t rebel”
Chapter 8: “Espresso — coffee that gives me the courage to stand up to the boss”
Chapter 9: “There’s no Vienna coffee in Vienna”
Chapter 10: “Lemon coffee for a hangover”
Chapter 11: “Our store has changed this much”
Chapter 12: “Resistance with a reason”
Chapter 13: “Happy to be a woman”
Chapter 14: “Soft and warm, cafe latte”
Chapter 15: “Marine boy”
Chapter 16: “Love is a secret that can’t be hidden”
Chapter 17: “An unknown girl”
Chapter 18: “Dazzling memories bring me pain”
Chapter 19: “That day”
Chapter 20: “Loving You”