Delicious bulgogi made by a Korean in Seoul.

I’m no stranger to living in host homes, sleeping on floors, snoozing in hammocks, or sharing a bed. Name it. I’ve probably napped in, on and/or next to it at least.

After living out of a suitcase for a year after college, relying on the hospitality of others for many of my basic needs, I’ve learned to graciously and gratefully receive. Giving into humility by accepting assistance isn’t always an easy thing to do, but sometimes it’s the only option to get a meal or have a place to stay. Perhaps this is why small acts of kindness always leave a huge impression on me.

I’ve made many wonderful friends in Korea, but few have made as big of an impact on me as Sehoon has. He greets me every morning with simple text messages like, “Have a great day at work,” or, “Have a beautiful day!” Always followed by a ridiculous amount of emoticons in his signature way.

I know I can ask Sehoon for anything. I know I’ll always have a place to stay when visiting Seoul. Sehoon is a giver. What brings him joy is to make others happy. I see it in his eyes. How they light up when he makes me smile. He smiles with his eyes.

Sehoon plans to make a different Korean dish for me to try every time I visit. Today he made vegetable bulgogi (marinated meat) with rice, and a Korean-style egg roll (similar to an omelet).

After enjoying his delicious meal with wine, we rested before I had to leave. It was so relaxing. I felt beyond content and completely comfortable in his presence. I didn’t want to go, but I had already made other plans for the night.

After meeting up with friends for a drink, I asked Sehoon if I could stay with him (even though I booked a bed at a hostel). He didn’t hesitate, and welcomed me back with open arms (and a toothbrush).

Sehoon doesn’t seem to have much in his small, basement apartment. But, whatever he has is mine as well. He even let me borrow some of his clothes (which were way, way too small). With free access to all his toiletries, I took a quick shower in the morning—even molded my hair with his “extreme hard” styling wax.

And I have no idea how he was able to whip it up so quickly, but eggs with spam and rice, as well as a glass of orange juice, greeted me when I came out of the bathroom. I devoured it with delight, feeling so loved and cared for.

I look forward to spending much more time with Sehoon, and I’m so thankful for his friendship. He’s the type of friend that makes me want to be a better person. He’s an example, a motivator, someone I value, trust and truly admire. I can only hope I get the chance to repay his small acts of kindness with my own little bits of love. Spam for breakfast is going to be a hard act to follow, however…


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