I’ve long felt that Federer looks like a cross between Jimmy Connors and Quentin Tarantino. I also think that Andrew Bynum looks like a cross between Isiah Thomas and Malcolm Jamal-Warner.

As you know, the Korean food in SoCal is awesome. It got better – as I was driving to Jibin’s place, we passed by a B.B.Q. Chicken store. Apparently there are a number of stores in the U.S. now. Awesome. We got it. The chicken itself is slightly different than in Korea, but the frying / sauce was pretty spot-on. Delicious. Apparently there’s a KyoChon in SoCal now also (in Stanton, wherever that is). I also found out what B.B.Q. stands for: “Best of the Best Quality”.

While at Jibin’s place, we came across these old essays the Park kids wrote after a trip to Japan. Their mom made the kids write them. This says something about Jieun’s personality – she outwardly complained but inwardly wanted to do it. She’s also one of the only people I know who, on their own initiative, diligently studies the Korean she learned from her mom or in Korean school. She was one of those truly good, obedient kids. What a weirdo.

Anyway, I nearly died reading her essay. I laughed so hard my abs are sore today, no joke. So I decided to type it up. Typing it though, it was a little less funny than when I first read it; I don’t know why it killed me so much. But whatever, a flavor of Jieun as a 12-year-old.



AUGUST 13, 1990

JAPAN: From My Point of View

I was so excited! I had just arrived at Tokyo, Japan, and I was ready for 3 days of fun-filled action with my family. As I looked out from my airplane window, I saw the beautiful sight that was Japan.

The airplane ride was so devasting! Ugh! I had to sit in the noisy and dull airplane for about 11-12 hours playing cards with my kid brother, Jibin. Giwoong, my older brother, was no help at all because he was practically sleeping the whole time. Giwoong has motion sickness and I guess he was trying to get his mind off of the fact that he had motion sickness. In my opinion, I think he has that sickness because he’s a little bit weak. Anyway, about the ride. The food was horrifying, the movies were terribly boring, and to it all off, we were flying economy class!

After we got off the airplane, we had to wait for our grandfather to pick us up at the airport. When we finally found him, it happened that we were going to a place called Fairmont Hotel in something called the Airport Limousine. It turned out that it was only a regular old bus.

The bus was pretty nice. It had air conditioning and luxurious looking seats. It also had a bathroom in the back! That was a total surprise for me. Anyway, we had to sit on the bus for 2 hours so I made myself comfortable and tried to enjoy the ride.

There was a funny thing I noticed about Japan as soon as we were on our way. As I looked curiously out of my window, I saw something that made me chuckle. In Japan, you drive on the left side of the road and the driver’s seat is on the right side of the car! Ha!

At the hotel, we checked in quickly because we wanted to get dinner early and go to sleep. The next day, my grandfather arranged a bus to pick us up and tour a place called Nikko. He couldn’t go because he had to take care of other business. So, after we ate breakfast, we rode a taxi to Imperial Hotel, which is where the tour begins. At the hotel, we boarded the bus which would take us to Nikko. Again, the bus had a bathroom in the back.

The trip to Nikko was fun and interesting. Our tour guide was named Goto-San or Gogo. He made lots of jokes that sometimes only he was laughing at! Anyway, on the way, we stopped for lunch at a resteraunt that was practically floating on the water. It had a spectacular, beautiful, and perfect view of the water outside. I ordered fish instead of chicken. Later I regretted it.

After lunch, we finally came to our destination, which was Nikko. After that, we toured the gigantic national park. We visited shrines, we saw a great waterfall, and we went on a trail called the Hairpin Road. It was named that because it was shaped like this: [squiggly line]

Finally, when it was time to go, I met this girl named Anne. She was also on the tour. She’s Chinese, lives in Canada, and she’s in the 8th grade. I sat with her during the whole ride back. We talked about stuff, and we looked at her yearbook. It was a nice experience meeting someone new.She promised she would write at the end of August. I hope it wasn’t a lie.

The next day, we got on a plane and left for Seoul, Korea.

So, as I look back at my trip to Japan, I think it was a great experience for me. Although there were many boring moments and I didn’t enjoy it, it was a once in a lifetime experience. ☺☺☺☺☺☺

[The last page is an acrostic poem]

Jieun had high expectations for Japanese culture, but those expectations collapsed dramatically when she visited Nikko.

Although Japan is well known for its cars and many industries, it’s not a very good place to tour or visit.

Probably the only good thing that occured in Japan was when I met someone on the tour.

Ah! Japan is such a lovely country. It has many good cultural & industrial features, except when I was there, I didn’t notice.

Nikko is the most boringest place in Japan because of its many temples, shrines and historical junk.

Jieun Park

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