Don’t Stop Thinking about Green
Pavel-to-DMZ Place 3. Think Green Cafe
It has been a while since I’ve seen a real-live chicken, not fried chicken on a plate. The animals in the city were dogs out on a walk, street cats, and pigeons that no one likes. Though as a child, I have heard stories of people who have raised chicks that they bought from peddlers in front of their school until they became chickens, actually there are no opportunities to see a real-live chicken. This was why I was amused at seeing the chickens in the fence in front of Think Green Café. In this way, Think Green Café, situated in Heyri, Paju, was special from the entrance.
“Heyri Village is an artist community village formed by artists. If art is a field that aims for diversity, and tries to overcome prejudice and boundaries, I believe art is love for living things. Even the street cats, chickens, rabbits, and dogs of Heyri village freely…” <from the conversation with Chun Ho Kyun, the host of the Think Green Cafe>
If we have to classify this place, we can say it is a vegan café. The words “NO SUGAR / NO BUTTER / NO MSG / NO ANIMAL ADDITIVES” is written in big letters under the menu. However, it is more than a café or restaurant with vegetarian dishes on the menu in that it is a place where one can talk about their perspective, or way of life. Literally Think Green! Be eco-friendly!
This is an age where people can get information easily through the plentiful content in different channels. It is the same with information on vegetarianism. People won’t think that “vegetarians would only have to eat vegetables that taste bad” anymore. Despite this, I seemed to have still thought unconsciously that vegan pizza can’t be good. I remember marveling over the taste.
On weekends, a barista from Ethiopia makes coffee that is made in the Ethiopian style. On weekend afternoons, when we are tired of the franchise coffee that we drank during the weekdays, this cup of coffee can be the easiest way to get the feeling of having escaped our daily lives.
I am introducing Think Green Café in Heyri Village as the third travel place of pavel-to-DMZ. I particularly hope that you would be able to taste food made with soybeans that are mainly produced inside the Civilian Control Line, and experience the DMZ where the ecosystem is preserved.
Step Mall 2F, 1652–38 Beopheung-ri, Tanhyeon-myeon, Paju, Gyeonggi-do, Republic of Korea / Closed on Monday, Tuesday / @thinkgreencafe
<Interview with Chun Ho Kyun, the host of the Think Green Cafe>
Interview space : ThinkGreen Cafe / Interview start time : pm 3:30, 23 Aug 2020 / Age group : early 70’s / Home Country : Republic of Korea
How do you describe yourself?
An Old Farmer who has A Youthful Mind that Dreams of Peace
How do you describe your everyday life?
In my daily life, I respect farmers who farm artistically and farm peace in the perspective of an artist, and peace farmers who love life with the heart of a farmer, and a farmer who grows peace.
How do you describe the character and mood of this space?
I have always thought a village that protects the plants and animals that remain, and co-exists with them is necessary in order to repent for making the village while harming nature, and I believe this concept is “green.” This place was started with the purpose of talking about our perspectives on being eco-friendly while having a cup of tea and bread. I wanted people to think that a place where life is well-preserved is in Heyri Village, Paju.
An interesting person you communicate with in this space?
A boy who studied farming at a Field Art School, who is quite grown-up now, once asked me to look after a chicken. Due to poverty, I had to send the 20 chickens we were raising away, and I talked to that child. When I suggested that he take the chicken, since I would not be able to raise them anymore, the boy said after a family meeting that he would have to send it to a house in the country that he knew. When I asked him whether they would raise the chickens well, he said “They might cook the chickens. What should I do?” As a result, we decided to raise that one chicken in front of Think Green Café after a family conference. I am happily raising that chicken, thinking of the child who wanted to co-exist with animals.
How do you look at the DMZ?
Though the DMZ was a place that was filled with bloodshed, that place became an eco-friendly place after being left empty for a long time. I believe making this eco-friendly place made by war into a place that is a symbol of peace that respects nature by maintaining it and going a step further would be a great idea. Preventing war not with weapons, but by preserving nature.
How do you look at the DMZ from a future perspective?
People like Greta Thunberg started a campaign of not going to school for a day, saying there is no point going to school when there is no future. The climate crisis is even more severe than war. In order to stop the climate crisis, we have to stop the emission of carbon, but this means giving up the comforts of civilization, so it would take a long time. Then, something has to absorb the carbon we release into the air, and to achieve this, we have to plant many trees. By doing this, trees can absorb carbon monoxide and store it in the ground. However, it takes too long for a tree to grow. Then what is a plant that can grow fast, but absorb carbon well? I believe it is hemp. Hemp is one of the great crop which has the high-absorbing carbon property by very fast rate of growth. Since marijuana is classified as an addictive drug, and thus classified as a plant that is looked at in disgust, it is the time to change the perspective toward the hemp.
There are a lot of landmines buried in the DMZ, why don’t we remove the landmines and plant hemp there to stop the climate crisis? Through the God’s gift hemp, the symbol of the division can be transformed as the symbol of peace and life.
Interview end time : pm 4:22, 23 Aug 2020
<Interview with Masfin, Barista of the Think Green Cafe>
Interview space : Think Green Cafe / Interview start time : pm 4:18, 23 Aug 2020 / Age group : 30’s / Home Country : Ethiopia
How do you describe yourself?
I have a lot of plans and thoughts especially when it comes to dreaming for the future.
How do you describe your everyday life?
On the weekends, I come here Think Gren Cafe. Mostly it’s quite busy in the afternoon of Heyri’s weekends. On weekdays, I have another similar part time job. Since my everyday life is a little bit of chaos, I effort to find a space between the chaos, and I would like to find a time to think.
How do you describe the character of this space?
Special, Unique, Simple
Not in a fancy way. There’re much more fancy places, but I don’t think they would be as unique and simple as this place. This place offer different products in very relaxed atmosphere. Very special.
How do you describe the mood of this space?
Simple, very relaxed just like nature. But without the unpredictability of nature. Nature could be unpredictable, right?
An interesting person you met in this space?
I would tell about one of my first customer. Since he is a body builder, he was interested in our cafe. Here, the way of making my coffee is very unique, because I mix the traditional Ethiopian coffee making with the modern way. So, the tasty is little bit different from other coffee. I think my coffee appeals to the people who want to go deeper into coffee. He was that kind of person. He was just eating pizza with his friends when I was making coffee. He didn’t ordered any coffee but I gave very small cups of my coffee which I just cooked. He tasted it, and from then on, he keeps coming back and talking about my coffee with me.
Do you have any experience about DMZ or the division of the Korea?
I use to go to Unification Observatory when my friends comes to Korea. I saw north Korean farmers and also kids playing sledding on frozen ice road in a winter day. That was really unique experience.
Tell us about Ethiopian traditional coffee and your coffee.
We have the oldest traditional when it comes to making coffee. I was trying to bring the Ethiopia’s culture to Korea. In Ethiopia, there’s some rituals about coffee. When we make coffee we have some special visual manner of Ethiopian coffee making.
I experiment with a fresh roasting coffee that with a hand drip and then it tastes really different. Because it’s super fresh. Normally coffeeshops use huge pots they can’t keep it fresh all the time, impossible. But the hand roasting gives the little bit hand touch so it’s unique and it’s not always same it could be like a little differences so I wanted to bring the traditional hand roasting, fresh, not perfect roasting and hand drip. So that’s what I am doing here. I was roasting before you came here. so after this I would make some coffee.
Interview end time : pm 4:34, 23 Aug 2020