What would an exchange semester be without all the friends you make? Hong is one important reason why I met so many people in Seoul and I’m pretty sure Hong was sent to me by heaven or at least somewhat very nice out there  😉 So here’s how we met and why he’s just great.

How I met Hong (and why he is my hero)

On my first night in Seoul I was lost. It was the middle of the night and I couldn’t find the way to my Goshiwon, cause (sorry, but) Google Maps didn’t know either.. So I asked this guy who was passing by if he could possibly help me. He responded in perfect English: „Of course! It’s near my place. Just follow me!“ This was Hong 🙂 We had to pass an under crossing to get to the other side. He carried my big suitcase („That’s so heavy!“) and even bought me drinks and snacks! Actually, also Hong had some difficulties finding it. But he even went upstairs with me, told me where to put my shoes and offered me to carry my suitcase to my room. What a gentleman!

After only those ten to fifteen minutes, we decided to meet again! While I told him I just landed from Germany and was about to study at Yonsei, he told me that he was the president of a club for exchange students at Hongik University. Lucky me! He invited me to join their up-coming meetings in the following weeks. Though I never made it to their official events, we exchanged Kakao ID’s and made plans for the next day. P.S. He didn’t believe that I was „so old“. Born 1996 Hong is only 23, but in Korean age he’s 25 already.

After my terrible and short first night and a very stressful check-in day at the Yonsei dorm Hong and I met for dinner in Hongdae. My highlight of the day! He even introduced me to one of his best friends Jeongho! And after he learned that I was a vegetarian, he took me to a shabu shabu buffet (hotpot) where I could eat all the veggies I needed. And what can I say, it became my favorite restaurant in Seoul! #thankyouhong

Why Hong is just great 

Hong is the reason I have Korean friends! It’s true! Not only did he introduce me to Jeongho, who I became very close with. Hong also took me to get togethers with his best friends. I would have never met Sohee, Dabin, Jun Hyeok or Seoyeonn if it wasn’t for him. I am so thankful we met at the station by chance <3

Except the day we had dinner and the day we had to say goodbye I never actually saw him sober 🙂 Hong was always whether drinking or sobering up. Or at least he was talking some nonsense, making fun of me or one of my friends 🙂 so we would think he had drinks 😛
But he was never tired. There was always a joke to tell, a funny comment to make or some glasses to empty (: Other than that, Hong was an organizational talent. Always taking care of where the group is going next or managing the group’s bills. He would pay in advance and everyone would pay him back via Kakao Pay. Only we foreigners had to give him cash. #sorryforthat Even though Hong was one of the youngest he took care of everyone and everything 🙂 well, that’s a hell of a student club president!

On the last weekend he even organized the last MT before we were all about to leave. Together with Jeongho he planned a whole weekend with Japanese lunch, teambuildung at an escape room and even booked a little house outside of Seoul, so we could have a little farewell party there.

On my last day Hong and some of his friends surprised me and came to Sinchon to say goodbye. I saw some tears in your eyes. (Admit it, Hong!) 😀 Thank you for everything!
보고 싶어! <3

Fun fact: Hong’s first name is actually Geongun. But he never really told me. I found out literally on the last weekend! Maybe he was afraid I would mispronounce his name! But when I asked him on the first day if this was his real name he said YES! For me he will always be Hong.