Will you pay me to stare at the trees and clouds?

NSA 10-seater coffee shop stands quietly on the side street near the city park called Seoul Forest. I can’t speak here. Your mobile phone must be silent. Please refrain from shoes.

The rule has one purpose. relax. Just free up space.

When Koreans enter the stage of life with the pandemic Corona, some return to social life by visiting public places where they can do almost nothing alone. What’s new in South Korea, where people are desperately trying to escape the pressure of living as an adult functioning in a pandemic in a stressful and fast-paced society with soaring real estate prices and tight work schedules. There is no such thing.

In this year’s Space Out Competition, I tried to achieve the lowest possible heart rate while sitting in the “Healing Forest” in the southern part of Jeju Island. Since its inception in 2014, the contest has spread internationally, including Hong Kong and the Netherlands.

And the concept has permeated some public spaces in South Korea. This month, a movie simulating flying over and in the clouds for 40 minutes was unveiled at theaters nationwide.Tickets FlightProjects backed by major movie chains are just below $ 6 (£ 4.50). The tagline says, “Please rest a little in the fluffy clouds.”

It ’s a sequel to the movie earlier this year, Mung bean: 31 minutes of burning campfire.

Such spaces and experiences are not a very mainstream phenomenon, but researchers say they take advantage of the heightened feelings of being trapped and lonely in the second year of a pandemic life.

Yun Dok-hwan, a consumer trend researcher and co-author of the annual book Trend monitorHe said he hopes that relaxation escapes will become a trend as the public tackles the pandemic epidemic.

I wanted to press the stop button and take some time, but I always feel like I have to do something.

“It’s hard to deal with feeling trapped and lonely at the same time,” says Yun. “They want to make the place where they are alone outside their home … I expect this trend to continue until the pandemic situation improves dramatically.”

Spacing is known in Korean as “hit” Mung beans, How to use the slang of the word Mung beans Describes the state of being completely “zoned out”. in this case, Mung beans Explain the blank state.In the fall, the word “forest” is now popular. Mung beans“And” leaves Mung beans“” Means to keep a distance while looking at the trees and leaves. “fire Mung beans “ The logs are burning, and they are spaced apart while watching the “water”. Mung beans ” I am meditating near the body of water.

Shops near the Seoul Forest, cafes like Green Lab, have been featured in local media coverage, providing space for healing and “hits” to ensure a steady flow of visitors throughout the pandemic. I am enjoying. Mung beans.. While drinking tea, customers can read and write poetry, meditate, or simply stare at the tree.

The Green Lab opened just before the pandemic with a concept called “ritual”. This is a new trend that encourages the daily practice of self-care. Until the last few months, customers weren’t used to the idea of ​​going to a store just to enjoy their company. But today, employee Bae Hyun says, the three timeframes offered each day are quickly deprived and there is little space for carry-on guests.

Customers receive tea, flower baskets and stationery to get away from everyday life at the Green Lab Cafe in South Korea

(Photo of The Washington Post by Michelle Ye Hi Lee)

“It’s very difficult to find a place in Korean society where you can never do anything,” says Bae. “People seem to be more interested in this, but I think it will take a little longer for it to become widespread. As people’s daily lives change pandemically, they become more familiar with the concept. It came to be. “

A recent weekday afternoon, 38-year-old Jung Jae-hwan took a group of colleagues to the store. As head of skin care brand Hyggee, Jung said he was looking for a way to find peace when he was in a fight in a competitive business world. He tried Pilates and yoga, but wanted to find a place where he didn’t have to do anything. And in the end, I arrived at Green Lab.

“I wanted to press the stop button and take some time, but I feel like I always have to do something,” he said.

“There is a rule in this space that I shouldn’t do anything,” he said. “It created space in my brain. I read books, enjoyed the smell of diffusers, saw flowers, wrote poetry. I started coming up with new ideas one by one and it was very refreshing. Did.”

One of his colleagues, Ann Aleum, said he had heard about the Space Out Competition but was unaware that such a store existed. She said she was enthusiastic and was looking for a way to deal with the anxiety and stress of the pandemic.

“I’m so tired that I don’t even have time to free up space. I have to go home and do housework after work, but I rarely have 30 minutes to an hour to go to bed. I spend that time myself. So, with this kind of space, you can actually focus on your breaks, “said Ann, 32.

Similar spaces are open to other parts of the country.

Space out competition held every year in the forest of Jeju Island, South Korea

(Washington Post)

At the Jeju Cafe called Godaise, the second floor is a reservation system where you can spend time alone. The cafe has stationery and you can write to yourself with coffee or dessert.According to local media reports, a cafe in a coastal city in southern Busan offers a “fire”. Mung beansAn area where people stare at the screen showing a video projection of a campfire.

A cafe named Mung Hit on Ganghwado off the west coast of South Korea also has an inactive relaxation area. In one section there is one chair facing the mirror for those who want to sit and stare. There are corners for meditation, reading, sitting by the pond or garden, and enjoying the mountain views. Pets and children are not allowed.

The store manager, Jiu Okjan, said that the cafe opened in April 2019 with the aim of becoming a “self-healing space” and was visited by many visitors when a pandemic occurred.

“‘Mung bean’ is the concept of emptying the mind and brain and filling it with new ideas and ideas. We opened because we wanted to create a space for people to do just that. “I did,” says Ji.

“It’s a place where people can heal themselves. It’s something you can only do, not something else for you. We’re for everyone who’s tired of the demands of modern life. I wanted to promote it, “she says.

32-year-old Ta Jung Kim found a cafe online and recently visited the cafe to get away from the city. There were other visitors, but she found enough corners to keep her head clean by minimizing contact with others.

“When I was sitting there, relaxing in a secluded area and drinking coffee with a view, I had no choice but to free up space,” she said. “I felt very comforted and open. The busy thoughts in my head disappeared and I came back with a more positive outlook.”

© © Washington post

Will you pay me to stare at the trees and clouds?

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