The clock reads 2 am. Sleep doesn’t seem to be an option tonight. You don’t feel like staying in your place any longer. So the wonderful question arises, what to do now? Well if you’re like me then those late night walks are wonderful. But, if that doesn’t fancy you, there is always 7/11 or one of the other various corner stores Korea has to offer.
7/11 and corner stores in Korea are not like they are back home. For one, there are no open liquor laws. This leads to the wonderful public drunkenness of both Korean’s and foreigners. Not only are there no open liquor laws, but the corner stores also have a wide array of liquor to select from.
It seems odd at first, walking into a 7/11, GS25, SUN Mart, &etc., and seeing bottles of wine, whiskey and the occasional bottle of vodka or other libation right at your fingertips, but that feeling quickly subsides. However, Korea is not known for its wine, unless you count makgeoli (Korean rice wine), so be prepared to pay more for a bottle of wine.
Many of the corner stores have chairs outside so once you make your night-cap selection; a seat is waiting for you. Since almost all of the corner stores are open 24 hours a day there is no problem with sitting outside late at night with a few friends, relaxing, sipping a night cap, and talking until the sun rises before work the next day.
While teaching English in Korea realize that there are a few public drinking customs though.
One, try not to be too loud. Be aware that there are going to be people sleeping and resting rather than out enjoying night-caps.
Two, clean up after you/group. This should be common knowledge; however it’s very easy to forget.
Three, random Koreans might come join you. In some cases Koreans will walk over to you and join you. Use your own discretion if you want to share. Be smart.