Mr. Park and Me in Korea


Me near the China boarder in Vietnam.

Man oh man. I am in Korea for 8 hours and what happens to me. Landing at 8am I decide not to spend my day in the airport so I go on the free tour offered through my airlines Asiana. We go into Seoul to see the “Blue House” which is like “The White House of America” as “Wendy” puts it. Wendy is our tour guide and tries to teach the bus full of other types of Asians and me some useful fraises in Korean. I don’t get the hang of it so I dont try. We touch down and watch an awesome display of sword fighting and music playing infront of the Blue House, where the president of Korea lives who was just elected in Feb. Now, I don’t think I am ignorant, but I do exactly know everything, like who the president is. Do you know without googling it up? Shortly after watching this naiontalistic demostration a TV crew comes up and asks to interview me about it. I said sure.

What do you think of Korea?

What do you think of what you just saw?

What do you think of the people you just saw?

Where are you going?

How long have you been in Korea?

All those questions I answered respectfully and with a bit of humor steered towards the asian culture. I though I was doing good when they said one more question.

Do you know who the president of Korea is?

“Hmmm, no.”

Through the daily life of an American in Korea I had let down my country’s pride with an uneducated response starting with a quirky smile and an “hmmmm”.

The reporter gave me his card and he turned out to be the political reporter for the station.

I can see it now, a lame show making fun of westerners or a documentary about western education, and there I appear infront of the Korean Presidents house saying I didn’t know who was in there.

Sorry America.

All that aside, I thought I saw a friend of mine in Detroit here in Seoul, so I called him Mr. Park. He didn’t seem to mind. So Mr. Park and I cruised like the odd couple. I told Mr. Park, “I know a Korean, or two.” He didn’t respond.

Later on the tour I was interviewed again by college girls practicing their english. Man, two interviews in a 3 hour tour.

Almost home.

Some of the believers in Veitnam are already reporting bolder moves in their faith even now, just 8 hours after I left the country. So cool.

  1. Cathy said:

    fraises = strawberries en francais

    phrases = short incomplete strings of words in english language

    sorry, i am an editor and am only doing this to help u
    best best regards,

  2. erinjo said:

    i forgive you for your trouble with foreign relations. if you ever run for president someday you know it’ll come up again.

    your absence is really sinking in. probably good, though, because i remember to pray for you more often. still, though, can’t wait ’till you come home.

  3. chilly said:

    I see “mr. park” all the time and in all kinds of places… interesting.

    glad you’re on US turf, again… it’s been too long.

  4. K said:

    Well, I used to say this when we first came to the USA, remember GI Joe back when we were kids… indeed!

    ‘Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.’

    ‘GI Joe, the real American Hero, Yo Jo!’

    Well, I never really watched the show, because Mommy always said, ‘Go play outside, but that’s beside the point…

    ‘Now you know.’


    ‘And knowing is half the battle.’

    What battle?

    Oh, gee, maybe I should watch the show. Is it still on?

    That’s beside the point too.

    What is the point?

    The point is that I REALLY love the byline, ‘Photograph something else.’

    It sticks to me.

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