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Typically, children do not buy into the hype of healthy food. Responsible parents seek deceptive routes to lure their sons and daughters into the trap of green edibles, vegetables and salads to name a couple. To many young minds, the sweeter and more fattening the food, the healthier it may be to their joyfulness and emotional stability; thus, unless motivation is involved, such as a PlayStation 4 if they consume a certain amount of Brussels sprouts per day, adolescents search for junk foods to fulfill their appetite. Luckily, I never fell victim to this trend as a youngster. An innate health freak, my sense of “good food” has always been beyond my age, and whatever cuisine adults enjoyed, I led myself to also accept.

Even though I spent the majority of my childhood and adolescence in North America amongst Canadians and Americans, I have never forgotten my Korean and Asian roots. As a teenager, I was repeatedly introduced to foods that reflect and embrace Asian cultures, especially when I visited my native country on long vacations. I refused to be selective with what I ate, allowing me to easily fall in love with every conventional dish to which I was presented. Out of my favorite food candidates, sushi for an unknown reason easily surpassed the rest and exceled in my category of “good food.” Just as one cannot definitively explain why Romeo and Juliet fell in love with one another at first sight, I cannot comprehend how I became so instantly hooked into these luxurious fish. As soon as I tasted my first sushi, my answer to “Where do you want to eat?” permanently switched from “I don’t know” to “At a traditional Japanese restaurant.” A twelve-year-old naïve boy, I never even imagined how much money adults would spend on my newfound happiness revolving around this ravishing Japanese creation.

A few years following, my family took me to a conveyor belt sushi restaurant, where different kinds of sushi on colored plates slowly go around and consumers pick out any of their choosing. I felt as if I had become a ruthless dictator in control of hiring whichever fish I desired to gratify me. “These poor fish had to die for my contentment,” I occasionally thought. I noticed I was gradually turning into a spoiled sushi connoisseur, but I had trouble resisting, as this hobby became one of my most effective ways to relieve stress.

Sleep with one eye open!

Sleep with one eye open!

The younger people attempt an activity, the easier their minds welcome and process it, as the brains are still developing. Consequently, if a person wants to learn a language, he or she is recommended to start as early as possible. Because I encountered sushi at such a young age, like English and American culture, my brain has recognized the food as my second nature. Each time I temporarily returned home as a soldier on furlough, a conveyor belt sushi restaurant remained as my first required destination. Even to date, I rely immensely on sushi to treat my boredom or depression. When training for a marathon for hours, I think of relaxing while devouring sushi alone after to keep me focused and determined to push to the point of exhaustion. When I visit my native home, my parents no longer ask me where I want to go to dinner. More than the pleasing taste itself, relishing sushi has become a ritual. I recollect childhood memories through this familiar realm, just as listening to a song an individual listened to frequently as a college student reminds him or her of the glorious college days.

No, I do not describe myself as a picky eater. I, a twenty-six-year-old man, enjoy fast food as much as I enjoy nutritious food. However, in terms of sushi, I stand my ground as a spoiled connoisseur. These unusual fish have the inexplicable divine power to make me smile and appreciate my life, even if only momentarily, in any undesirable situation. Therefore, I can proudly pronounce sushi my friend.