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7 June 2003
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The Seoul Blog - Getting Drunk Out of Your Mind

Koreans in general are drinkers. They are among the top alcohol consumers in the world. And when they drink, they tend to drink hard and fast. There is no moderation. It's not uncommon to see people staggering down the street early in the evening barely able to walk, vomiting on the streets. I'm not sure whether it's the peer pressuring system of "one shot" that requires them to down shot after shot of liqour in rapid succession, or whether it's an inherit need to quickly and completely escape the pressures of Korean life. In any event, the more you can drink here, amazingly, the more socially admirable you become. Also the bars stay open until the customers go home, and you can by booze at anytime of the day or week.

I remember the first time I drank Soju, a Korean vodka based drink. It was with my first boss, after signing the contract to work at his school. It seemed a little odd to me to be drinking with my boss, much less pounding one shot after another in some kind of competition. Needless to say I lost miserably. He put away 3 bottles without a flinch. I had about 1 and-a-half before I excused myself to go home and vomit and to get up early for my first day of work with a headache and upset stomach.

Check out this article called, The Global Hangover Clinic.

Looks like all that beer and Soju caught up with these guys. It's 11:00 o'clock and already one guy is passed out cold. His buddy across the table is engaged in singing to himself and performing some kind of bizarre dance. The other guy maintains control. He'd better drink a few more.

The passed out guy pukes on himself. He wakes up for a moment, chews the
vomit in his mouth, swallows, and falls back to sleep. His buddy across the table
stops dancing and has a look. It would be a shame to let this moment slip
into the past, forever forgotten. For posterity, I snap a picture from the shadows.