What U.S. college students miss from home


I didn’t believe it until I saw it myself: My friend asked me to bring red and blue plastic cups to Sweden because the U.S. students really miss them. It’s true. Here’s why. (This needed to be explained to me because this was a part of U.S. college life I missed out on.)

These cups are valuable because they are opaque. This allows you to walk down the street with a beer without anybody (anybody = police) being able to tell that you have a beer in your hand, which would otherwise be a violation of open-container laws or evidence of underage drinking. As a result, the plastic cups have been synonymous with college drinking. 

That’s why the U.S. students miss them so.

In other news: Stockholm basically closes at 4pm on Saturdays.

Comments (11)
  1. Jon Galloway says:

    [Raymond is no longer on vacation.]

    How do you do that auto-pilot thing, by the way?

  2. Raymond Chen says:

    [Raymond is still on vacation; he’s posting from Sweden.]

    There is a SOAP interface to the .Text engine. Combine that with a scheduled task and you’re all set.

  3. Mike Dunn says:

    I was talking to a friend in Denmark one time on a Sunday, and I said I had to run out to the grocery store… it shocked him that stores were open on Sunday. Here in LA, the only thing closed on Sunday is the post office, and I’ve been here so long that I forget that isn’t the norm for other cities/countries.

  4. asdf says:

    I’m getting images of a bunch of exchange students loitering around outside with blue and red disposable cups until 4pm while their parents back home think they’re studying all day.

  5. I can understand the cups in the US, but needing them in scandanavia? When discreet drinking in, say, Copenhagen means walking round with a viking helmet on carrying a crate of beer, heading in to bars when you feel like it, before going to the hippy quarter to by 15g of the best ganja that Dutch agrochemical science can come up with? You are not going to be arrested for having an open beer can, except in those "no public drinking" areas that spring up in some places. If exchange students are pining for the plastic beer cups, they have not embraced the European lifestyle.

  6. Roger Dworkin says:

    So…they don’t sell opaque glasses in Sweden? What, do they have a law against them there?

    *begins to understand the high suicide rate*

  7. Jojjo says:

    And the police never thinked to actually look in the cups?

  8. Andreas Häber says:

    I don’t think the plastic cups would be any success in Norway since it’s illegal with public drinking of alchohol. So it is not about how your bottle/cup looks like, but what it contains. And it’s quite expensive to get caught by the cups too (and the beer is normally very expensive in the first place).

    To put the alchohol in Norway into a better perspective. Recently there was quite a bit discussion if it should be allowed to have a beer tent outside of a skisport event in Oslo.

    I assume Steve is talking about Christiania in Copenhagen above. It is illegal to buy & use ganja there too. The last years there’s been lot’s of razzias by the police there. AFAIK the politicians of Denmark/Copenhagen doesn’t like Christiania anymore so they want to shut it down. Check out http://www.christiania.org/ for more information about it. It’s written in Danish, so FYI: "Bevar Christiania" means "Keep Christiania".

  9. Raymond Chen says:

    Jojjo: For the police to look into the cup without "probable cause" would risk running afoul of U.S. constitutional protections against unreasonable searches. But more practically, if they came towards you, you would just quickly pour out the cup so when they finally reached you, they saw just an empty cup.

    Steve: It’s not that these cups are needed in Sweden. Rather, these cups have a very strong association with "college party", so having one merely completes the experience. Think of it as a tradition.

  10. Andrew says:

    Come to London (or the UK in general for that matter) and you get to walk around with what ever you want, where ever you want, when ever you want. :)

  11. Scott says:

    Same deal in Spain, as far as I could tell. The line between bar and street was pretty much non-existent. This may have just been lax policing though. Regardless, the locals weren’t concerned so neither were we.

Comments are closed.