Freeman
Freeman

College kids in Korea are similar to those in the States, but with a significant difference.

Since rent is so expensive, most Korean students live at home. In fact, Koreans usually stay with their parents until they're married. This has a lot of drawbacks for university life. When your mom watches your every move, she restricts your sleeping in and video games. But most of all, Koreans don't get to experience, throw or go to house parties.

However, like so many other things, Koreans do it differently and maybe even a little bit better.

You see, there's no Korean law forbidding open containers, so you can guzzle all the road beers you like.

But who wants to do that walking around?

Convenience stores like Buy the Way, 7-Eleven and GS25 set up plastic chairs and tables for people to drink, eat and be merry. There's no need to go to somebody's house, a bar or a club. You can just sit in the open air and drink with your chingus (friends).

Stores offer a selection of beer including Korean baddies like Hite, Max or Kloud. Want an import? They've usually got Corona, Budweiser and Miller Light. You could grab snacks such as dried squid, fish paste tubes that look like string cheese, or a variety of ramen flavors from shrimp to spaghetti. Anybody hungry? Remember, when in Seoul, do as the Seoulites do.


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So basically, you hit the pavement and sit around your local convenience store drinking with your buddies. If you're with somebody who doesn't speak your language, you keep Google Translate out. When you need a refill, you walk back into the store and grab a can or bottle. Beers cost about $2 to $4. Or you can get a two-liter plastic bottle pitcher for about $6 and little disposable paper cups for 15 cents a pop. Also, you never need to tip the cashier.

Maybe you're feeling a little frisky and the beer just isn't cutting it. Most stores carry hard liquor and a plethora of mixers. There's a chance you could find some fine $10 wine.

Come on. You're in Korea. Try makkoli. This fermented rice wine tastes kind of like sweet milk mixed with vodka. Bokbunja is a sweet red wine. There's also Chinese liquor, but there's a reason most people don't try it (Hint: It's disgusting).

The champion of Korean alcohol is soju. This is basically the Korean version of sake. Soju's taste? Not so great. But you don't sip it. You take shots and shots of it. A bottle costs about $1.50, which holds about six shots — enough to get two people pretty tipsy.

However, Koreans don't like to half-ass things. They want to get really tipsy. So you might walk by your local convenience store's patio section and see groups of wobbly students and sturdy plastic tables with collections of empty beer cans, mostly eaten spicy cheese puffs and pyramids of drained soju bottles.

You can do this 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year.

That's a big reason why Koreans aren't really too worried about getting blown up. Wouldn't it be great if our world leaders could sit around a picnic table, drink some beers under the sun and act like chingus?

Read more Freeman: coloradodaily.com/columns. Stalk him: comfyconfines.wordpress.com