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Not drinking alcoholic beverages in Korea
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kevinst



Joined: 10 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2003 8:55 pm    Post subject: Not drinking alcoholic beverages in Korea Reply with quote

After reading through some of the various links on this website, and others, I have come to the conclusion that there is a lot of serious drinking that takes place in Korea. Now, the question that I have is this: how difficult do you perceive living in Korea would be for a guy that does not consume alcohol? It seems that a lot of what goes on after work takes place in the bars. I let go of that habit many years ago, and I am glad that it has been many years since the last drink. Although, I still love to have a good time.
Finally, I would like to say “thanks” to those who take the time to answer my questions about Korea Very Happy
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Wombat



Joined: 28 May 2003
Location: slutville

PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2003 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No worries. I'm a VERY light drinker (as in, twice a year!) This is my second year in Korea, and I haven't found it to be a problem. This place is pretty fun, so you never get bored. You'll have a great time - sober or not. And from what I hear, soju gives one of the worst hangovers going, so I reckon you're better off without it.

Wombat
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William Beckerson
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2003 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I dont drink. No one bothers me about it. Dont worry unless you get stuck working with some macho jagoffs.
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the_beaver



Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2003 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't drink at all. Some people have a little trouble understanding that, but it's never been a problem.
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LiquidSunshine



Joined: 31 Mar 2003

PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2003 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

just drink some juice if you want. people don't really care if you drink soju...they just care if you hang with them...oh, and if your handsome Shocked
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On the other hand



Joined: 19 Apr 2003
Location: I walk along the avenue

PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2003 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I drink maybe once every 6 months. Not much of a problem, but then again I'm not really a huge party guy to begin with. I do go out with students and-or colleagues a few times each week, though, and usually just have orange juice or cider. No major hassles.
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The Lemon



Joined: 11 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2003 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
how difficult do you perceive living in Korea would be for a guy that does not consume alcohol?

Not difficult at all. If it's your choice not to imbibe I don't think people will hassle you about it.
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matko



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: in a world of hurt!

PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2003 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with most of the previous posters, however, you might run in to the odd Korean who can't understand why you won't drink with them. If you explain your reasons, it should be fine, but some might initially take offence.

I am a raging alcoholic so it never was a problem, but I've seen some people have minor "disputes" with Koreans over this. Having said that, it was never a "major" problem. Just be prepared to explain "Why"

Have fun Wink
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JMILTON



Joined: 20 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2003 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I must disagree with most posters. But my circumstances are different. I am a recovering alcoholic and have been for 15 years. This is a completely alcoholic environment. Not only the Koreans but most native speakers drink excessively. Just like anywhere you can exist without drinking but it is difficult to make friends here without going to the pubs. Most weekend activities revolve around that. You can find other things to do, but you might get ready for some solitude. No one tries to force you to drink but it does grow rather drolll being around people puking on their shoes. You will have to remind people, because they always forget. It can be quite difficult surrounded by such low morality.
I will never understand people who compare not drinking with drinking sometimes. There is an exponential difference between the levels. Especially for those who used to drink and are trying to make a new way of life.
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HardyandTiny



Joined: 03 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2003 2:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

People drink a lot in Korea but not ALL Koreans drink.
There is no problem if you do not drink.

The Americans have AA groups on the military bases for the recovering folks and just about anyone with an ID can be escorted onto a base.

Occasionally you'll get some silly ass that will ask you. "are you boring person?", because you are not drinking. Well..that's as dumb as the guy who will ask you why you are sitting like a woman with your legs to the side instead of crossed.

When I first arrived I was surprised at the amount alcohol consumed by female Koreans, but none of them pushed me to drink, I just got loaded on my own.
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Son Deureo!



Joined: 30 Apr 2003

PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2003 2:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know what your religious tendencies are, but the Christians in Korea tend not to drink at all. If you go to church here, you'll fit in just fine.

Aside from that, though, it's true that the social life in Korea (Korean or expat) tends to revolve around drinking and bars.
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Cedar



Joined: 11 Mar 2003
Location: In front of my computer, again.

PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2003 3:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have to be firm from the beginning that you aren't drinking. You should be willing to call yourself a bad drinker, weak with alcohol, to behave very badly after drinking and to be currently sick and trying to get well. I went along with it in Korea in the past, but realized how little I like drinking and haven't had much problem now that i don't (well, I did get drunk on my 6 six years in Korea anniversary, but that was almost a year ago). Just be firm firm firm.
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On the other hand



Joined: 19 Apr 2003
Location: I walk along the avenue

PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2003 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JMILTON:

As you know if you read my first post here, I'm not a big fan of drinking at all. Could quite happily go the rest of my life without it, actually. But I must take issue with your "low level of morality" comments. Wife beating and child molesting show a "low level of morality"; puking on one's own shoes is pretty much just a nauseating thing to do. Hull, I did it a few times myself back in my hard-drinking days, and don't consider myself to be any more "immoral" because of it. I mean, I'm sorry for the guy who had to clean it up off the sidewalk, but I'm sure it didn't ruin his life or anything.
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kimcheeking
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2003 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will drink a maximum of two drinks. I like the flavor but I hate the silliness and lack of control associated with being drunk.
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rudyflyer



Joined: 26 Feb 2003
Location: pacing the cage

PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2003 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll sound a lot like KK but the most I'll have is 2 drinks is also my max and thats only on a very rare occasion (the last 2 times I've even had a drink were our stopwatch get togethers and only drank imported beer) I just Koreans I simply don't drink plain and simple.

Besides Korean beers give me a lovely allergic reaction, my sinuses get clogged and I can barely breathe.
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