Just about everyone I've met abroad has asked me if Americans really do party like they do in the movies. Well, yes and no. Yes parties are often held in private homes. Are they all that crazy? Well, no not all.
Last night I got into interesting discussions about parties and clubs in different parts of the world. I was chatting with two South Koreans, an Italian, and Austrian and a Spaniard in another exchange student's apartment. The two South Koreans told us that they never did anything like this back home. They told us that everyone goes clubbing in their first year of university but stops after that because it gets very boring. The Italian and Spanish girls said that they start very late (but the Spaniards later) and go to bars and then clubs. The Austrian girl said that they go to pubs and that most Austrians drink schnapps.
After hanging out in the apartment, we went to a club in the center where a party had been arranged for us. It was a lot of fun but I had class the next day so I left around 3:30 in the morning. Not very early by the standards of someone who lived in Spain but I wanted to be sane for my class the next day. A Finnish guy who lives in the same building as me offered to walk me home because he was very tired. Our friends gave him a hard time because he doesn't start class until next week so he didn't have an excuse to go home early. He promised us that by the time we finish our semester, he will be able to party all night like the rest of us.
A bit later on the walk home, he told me in Finland they don't party all night because drunk guys who pass out in the street in the middle of the night freeze to death. Oh. That makes sense. Very few places in Spain where it's that cold.
Every culture has drinking and going out with friends, but how they go about doing it is very different. Who knew that this would be such a cultural rich point?