paeins (a Korean word for night owl) of Korea becoming internationally famous? A
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
||Drinking with friends |
||Having a cozy date with a lover |
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.'
||Stay up until dawn and catch the first bus or
subway train |
||Catch a cab home|
||Call parents for a ride
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.
||At a friend's house |
||In a jjimjilbang (Korean public
||In a PC room or at MT
Where do you usually sleep when you
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
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."
||Close the eyes and stay still |
||Just give up and stay awake|
||Read an extremely boring
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
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.
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.