This is the view of the Hongdae which is the busiest intersection of the biggest college neighborhood in Seoul, South Korea, where I live. When I moved here at nineteen, it was my friends who were more excited than I was. The drinking age in Korea is 19 and they were anticipated to join adulthood in Hongdae, so they visited me every weekend.
Our first night at Hongdae was similar to when Koekebakker’s first day in Amsterdam. We were lost in the busy city, nervous about the atmosphere, intimidate by other’s look, and chasing girls with our eyes all day long. We said we didn’t need girls, but we did need girls. “We spent whole summer nights leaning against the fence around Ooster park and talking and talking” (Necsio 36). Most nights we end up just talking and talking in the cheapest place we could find.
Nescio did an amazing job in portraying ‘young’; how fearless and confident, but vulnerable and aimless ‘young’ is. I can put myself into all four characters, and I am sure others can too; four characters are ultimately not a separate person, each of them is a fragmental representation of ‘young’. Staring at almost empty Hongdae street due to COVID, I am feeling the melancholy like the group. Many thoughts are passing my head. Soon graduating from college, I need to start finding a job, and I am scared because I am still not sure and not confident about what to do for my future.
by David Hyon