Seoul, South Korea. February 1997

The next night, JT, his brother, and I went and saw Jerry Maguire. On the way home we noticed that Skylark Family Restaurant was having their Grand Opening. “Wanna go in and get a bite? Let’s see if their steaks are any good. We’ll probably be their first foreign customers,” JT proposed.
“OK,” we agreed.

Skylark keeps a full staff of servers, bussers, managers, and cookers working hard until 2 a.m. Most of them have day jobs too but they all need the extra money so help is not hard to find. No sooner had we taken our seats but a smiling server in a pink dress with white apron dropped off three menus, not before honoring us with a deep bow of salutation: “Hello. How are you?” Five different girls came up to our table one at a time, bowed and said, “Excuse me. Can I take your order please?” We hadn’t even had a chance to look at the menu. Girl number six was worth waiting for. Shy, shortish, with a traditionally beautiful egg-shaped face, her nametag read "Young-Sook."
“Excuse me. May I take your order please?”
I said, “Will you be my friend?”
Secretly I was only acting in my role as Love Finder for JT.

I opened my Sharp electronic address book and planner and slid it over to her. She looked at it, a shy and confused grin started to creep onto her face but she quickly covered it with her hand. My planner prompted her for her name and then phone number. “Young-Sook is a popular name,” I said. In my mind I was thinking back to my first Young-Sook 10 years earlier.
“Yes it is,” she said. "Is beep-beep OK?"
"Sure, just don't fake me," I said.
She responded with a blank stare. You know the look.
“May I take your order please?” Skylark Young-Sook asked after an awkward silence.
“Give me a beefsteak with steamed rice on the side, friend.” I said it with a smile.

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