December 11, 2007


On Saturday we took Mom and Dad K up to San Francisco. We wandered Golden Gate park (Japanese tea garden, coffee at the De Young museum and then the Conservatory of Flowers). Then Mom wanted to see San Francisco, so we drove downtown and swung over to Chinatown. Being from New York city, they were underwhelmed by San Fran. It's a cool town, but it doesn't really have a big city feel. Compared to New York or Chicago, San Francisco is squat and fairly small. The per capita eclectic ratio is probably higher than in the other cities, but I didn't want to try to explain the Folsom street fest through the language barrier (it's a celebration of leather/S&M culture).

For dinner we went back to Jrex's cousin's restaurant at 19th and Balboa. Once again there was a tour bus parked in front. Last time, Jrex told me his cousin had been a bus driver when he first arrived in the USA. In my mind, that conjured an image of a city bus. I felt bad for the long, hard climb his cousin must have had. During dinner Saturday, I asked about the tour bus.

"Do you get tours often?"

"Every night." I assumed I'd misunderstood him, then he continued, "In the summer, we have 600 a week."

"What?! How do you do it?"

"Same menu every time. They tour, they don't want to take long, so in out 30 minutes. Four lunch and six night on busy day."

I was incredulous, "Do other Korean restaurants have tour buses?"

He shook his head, "Only me. I guide tours fourteen years. How you say? Many 'brothers' at tour companies now?"

The image of the poor, toiling, bus-driving immigrant was blown away.

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