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Yonseians' night lifeWhat Yonseians do at night
Chai Kyu-min Assisstant Reporter  |
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승인 2005.10.01  00:00:00
트위터 페이스북 구글 카카오스토리

ARE THE paeins (a Korean word for night owl) of Korea becoming internationally famous? A few weeks ago on his talk show, Jay Leno mentioned a Korean  who died from a heart attack after playing computer games for three days and nights straight. Although not everyone is spending their nights as excessively, it seems that many university students are enjoying their nights by doing what they freely want to do. To find out how Yonseians spend their nights, the Annals asked 103 Yonseians about their night lives.

50.5% Drinking with friends  
17.5% Having a cozy date with a lover
9.7% Exercising

What do you think is especially nice to do outdoors at night?

As a warm-up question, we asked Yonseians What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word "night"? The answers were divided mainly into three large groups, 29 answering "relaxation and sleep", 23 selecting "twinkling stars and a shining moon" and 23 more choosing "a time of sentimentalism." There were also some funny and bizarre answers. One male respondent said the first thing that came to mind was "women"; maybe he associated the two things that proved most mysterious to him. Another guy confessed that "AV"s were the first thing that came to mind. As you know, "AV" is also the initials for 'adult video.' 

31.1% Stay up until dawn and catch the first bus or subway train 
29.1% Catch a cab home
16.5% Call parents for a ride home

What do you do when the public transportation ends service?

Through our further investigations, we found out that the majority of Yonseians (47.6%) slept after 1 o'clock. Even two extreme gamers and one  midnight snacker answered that they usually dozed off around "3 ~ 4 a.m." Then what do other Yonseians do over the night? The Annals classified the questions into What do you think is especially nice to do indoors at night? and outdoors? For the 'indoors' question, 35% replied that "surfing the internet" was their favorite activity. "I usually visit shopping sites and occasionally surf the internet for fun facts and news. I also really like chatting with my friends through MSN messenger," says Choi Seung-ah (Fresh., Dept of Law). As you can surmise from the following results, it seems that the majority are not using their nights very productively: transforming into a couch potato and watching television - 17.5%, entering the world of electronic games - 16.5%. Three romantics chose "having sweet talks with a lover over the phone," as their favorite. The guy who imagined "women" when he heard the word "night" responded bizarrely once again with "art," and it made me wonder what is implied if "women" and "art" come together.

46.6% At a friend's house 
20.4% In a jjimjilbang (Korean public bathhouse)
9.7% In a PC room or at MT places

Where do you usually sleep when you stay out?

For the 'outdoor' section, "drinking with friends (50.5%)" held the majority. Such results may also explain why all the bars and restaurants in Shinchon never seem to be empty. In second place, 17.5% answered "having a cozy date with a lover." It seems that real dates were more favorable to having sweet talks over the phone (3). Clearly, voices alone aren't enough to fulfill the infinite deepness of LOVE~. There were also a few who answered that "singing in a noraebang (9)" and "dancing in a club (6)" were their favorite things to do. For those who love drinking, singing and dancing, may the eternal tradition of umjugamu (the Korean traditional word for drinking, singing and dancing) be with you, always.
So those of you who have indulged in Umjugamu, you've had a fun night, but how are you going to get home when the public transportation services end? The answers were divided into two groups. 31.1% of Yonseians picked "stay up until dawn and catch the first bus or subway train," while the second group of 29.1% of Yonseians chose "catch a cab home." Anyone who has the painful experience of greeting the morning sun after staying up all night might feel a slight sense of consolation by the large percentage of Yonseians who wait for the first transport. Like an answer to Carl Sagan's famous question "Are we alone?" we may be able to say "We are not."

56.3% Close the eyes and stay still 
11.7% Just give up and stay awake
10.7% Read an extremely boring book

What do you do when you can't sleep and desperately need some rest?

For those who end up spending the entire night out, the Annals asked Where do you usually sleep when you stay out? 46.6% selected "at a friend's house" followed by 20.4% who answered "in a jjimjilbang (Korean public bathhouse)." It is always easy to rely on a friend when you desperately need a place to stay over night, but the meals might start degenerating into plain vegetables if you stay too long. And as for jjimjilbangs, many have turned into large complex leisure facilities these days as more and more people seem to be using them as a place of slumber. Let's not forget to sample their delicious boiled eggs and shikhae (a sweet drink made of fermented rice).
There are always times when you get really sleepy but there's still much studying or work to do, or when you can't sleep and desperately need some rest. For the first scenario, nearly half (47.6%) of Yonseians picked "just give up and sleep." It's reassuring to know that many Yonseians respect the law of nature. But some students stood strong by slapping their faces (3), taking stimulants (3), smoking (2), or rubbing liquid pas under the eyes (1). Why not just obey the law of nature rather than torture oneself for a few vain minutes? In times when we need to force ourselves to sleep, I guess that there was no special way to get to sleep other than "close the eyes and stay still (56.3%)." 11.7% said that they just gave up and stayed awake, which was the second most popular answer. Of course, then everything gets messed up when you don't get any sleep and you keep dozing off the next day.
Night is always a bit mysterious to us because casual activities are done in the daytime, while the night is reserved for special activities. What would have happened if human beings had evolved into nocturnal animals? A few said that "human eyes would become luminous like the front lights of cars," a simple scenario. But some odd answers like "they would have killed all the chickens," or "the population would have overflowed," require some interpretation. Since the chickens would start crowing when people would have begun to sleep in the morning, something would have been done to quiet them. And since people wouldn't have slept in the dark, I guess copulation would be a lot easier.
This month, the Annals took a peek into how Yonseians spend their nights. The simultaneous calmness of quiet and excitement of the unknown gives us a special feeling only experienced at night. Nights are short and youth doesn't last forever. It's good to see many Yonseians enjoying their nights. Let's just bear in mind that, as we learned from the 72-hour gamer, too much indulgence can end up in a not-so-happy ending.

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