Last night was the first night since I've been here that I was out late on a weekend night and I have to say that, despite the fact that I have been around drunk people on a few occasions in my life, I was shocked by the number and charcater of inebriated people I came across. Or, more precisely, completely freaking wasted people.
I saw people passed out on the street, subway, and in bars. I say many instances of vomiting-- often in combination with passing out for a really artful display--many stumbling and singing groups with arms wrapped tightly around each other's necks, and in all directions people in various stages of drunkeness. And this was only at about 1 a.m., the bars are open all night. My favorite was two businessmen on the street. One was as unconscious as it is possible to be without actually slipping into the afterlife, and the other was his almost as drunk friend trying to lift him off of the street. Amusing.
But with all of this insane drunkness, I have to say that the vibe was never menacing where ever I went (and I returned across town so did actually cover a good amount of distance. I saw no fights and though definitely a memorable foray into the realm of alcohol consumption, it really wasn't depressing.
The cops were stopping every car on Seongsanno rd, which is an extremely busy road that runs by Yonsei University, and having each driver breathe into a breathalyzer. These were quick little models, a second per blow and the driver was on their way. A couple people were pulled over and being ticketed. But most drunks seem to know either to avoid that road or not to drive, or hadn't hit the streets yet I suppose.