Chung Mong-joon, the sixth son of Hyundai founder and all-around Rich Guy Chung Ju-yung, has thrown his hat into the ring for the upcoming presidential elections in Korea in December. This isn’t a surprise to anyone, really, as his star is at its zenith after Korea’s result in the World Cup, over which he presided as the chairman of the Korean World Cup Organizing committee.
The only thing that interests me about him, really, is the pocket biography in today’s Korea Times, which includes the usual blather : Ph.D. in International Relations from Johns Hopkins, married with two sons and two daughters, and so on. But tucked away in the list, on both the print edition and online edition of The Times, is ‘Drinking Capacity : One bottle of soju.
I love this country sometimes, in the way one loves an idiot brother from whose chin one has to keep wiping the drool.
I must admit, it actually is a relatively important measure of a man (for me) to know his drinking capacity, so this data is welcome. Chung’s capacity is pretty damn low for a man of 51, I’d say, but I suppose that’s to be expected in good plutocratic presidential material. My suspicion is that he’s more a single malt scotch type than a streetside soju swiller, anyway.
Not coincidentally, The Times reported on Tuesday (on page 2 of its print edition, but not online) that Korea was second in the world in per capita alcohol consumption. The average amout of pure alcohol consumed by the average Korean over the age of 15, according to the most recent figures, was 14.4 litres, second only to Slovenia, at 15.1 litres.
And people wonder why I live here.
(Edit : This is funny, as are this and this, if unrelated.)


Join the conversation! 7 Comments

  1. Not to mention:
    * Nickname
    “Kkobongi,” which translates roughly as “slouching fool”

  2. The “one bottle of soju”…would this be what we Canadians refer to as a “Mickey” bottle, or a 26-ouncer?

  3. Mmmm, Soju.
    I have only visited Korea twice and both times I have found myself in one restaurant or another with the same person trying to drink each other under the table with Soju. The current score is tied, so I will have to go back again for the tie-breaker. For some reason, I never drink it at home, even though it is available here.
    A girl that works for the above gentleman person is known as “Sora the Soju Queen” and, while everyone else is drinking from tiny glasses, she uses water glasses and can match anyone glass for glass without seeming to be affected until she stands up. Then the fun begins.
    I am not surprised that Korean has such a high intake of alcohol per person. I am amazed at the amount that some Koreans drink when out and how often they do so.

  4. That’s a mickey, Joey. And soju’s only about 20-25% alcohol by volume, so it’s really not that much.
    I note that the 14.4 litre figure is pure alcohol, though….

  5. Stavros! You’re back!

  6. So is he gonna win the Presidency? Who’s the competition? What’s his soju capacity? (Glad you’re still posting!)

  7. i was in Korea for 22 months soju is a kick in the balls. We use to go to munsan and we all buy 2, 3.6 liter bottles and drink them till we could not walk. We called it playing Mario brothers because we felt like we were marid jumping up and hitting blocks in a game world. Soju is the devil, and I love playing with fire.

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