My first foray into the world of Korean Drama was through the series “My Love from The Star”.

It was introduced to me by my wife and ever since then I got hooked. (I believe I have seen that series at least four times on different occasions)

I began to watch as many Korean Dramas that are considered worth watching from Reddit, friends and the internet.

And I usually come across this particular series called Reply 1988 (R88).

Occasionally, you will find a post or two of people saying that they don’t enjoy the drama you usually enjoy. Sometimes you catch yourself scratching your head, and asking yourself, what it is they find unlikable in the series you liked.

But then there comes a time when almost everyone you come across on the internet recommends a drama that everyone likes.

And this ladies and gentlemen, is the series Reply 1988.

This series has been sitting in netflix for years, and yet the only reason that I didn’t watch it is because I don’t want to be disappointed in case it didn’t really live up to the hype.

I tried watching the first episode a few years back and then put it off thinking that “ah, another slice of life, friendship and family themed series, maybe next time”.

Either something inside me tells me I am not yet ready to watch this series or that I have another series to watch, nonetheless, I didn’t find the series that time worthy to compare it with the earlier ones I’ve seen.

And then one day, in the midst of the COVID19 pandemic, I asked a question through my FB post on what Kdrama they highly recommend.

Almost 80% of my FB friends resoundingly replied “Reply 1988”.

So, I told myself, yes, perhaps it’s about time I give this series some chance.

And boy did I get myself into something that was so beautiful, so wonderful, so real and perhaps so tragically poignant that I have to write an article about it right after the day I finished it.

But first let me get this out of the way.

My favorite character was Jung Bong, the older brother of Jung Hwan and perhaps one of the best characters I’ve seen in a Kdrama.

But we will get into this deeper later.

I would like to suggest that I now understand why the series evoked such a strong fan base. And why it is for me would be considered as one of the BEST KDRAMAS in as far as Kdrama is concerned.

This is something that I would ask my grandchildren to watch, let alone if I were a teacher have my students write a paper about.

But this article is not about a position paper on why Reply 1988 was a great drama.

It is about the morals it pronounced that mirrored each character in the series and how it affects its viewers.

So, permit me to share a few of my reflections on its moral lessons. (Warning: this post is meant to be read by people who have seen the series, if you still haven’t seen it you should not proceed on reading below. You have been warned.)

  1. Hard work can get you far in life but being a good person and having the right mindset brings you further

    Life is uncontrollable, to think that you are controlling it would sometimes spell greater disaster as your expectations about yourself and other people can crumble anytime when something untoward happens.

    You might be a good employee for 26 years, grow old and not get another chance of being employed in another work just like the one before, because admit it or not in a company YOU ARE EXPENDABLE.

    But with a good character like Dong Ryong and a mindset like his mother, work will always be available and life finds a way to use your talents and person to compensate with what is missing in the world and what the world needs.

    Your mindset will always be the final arbiter of what you can become.

  1. Family isn’t perfect, but what makes a family a TRUE FAMILY is being able to LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY

    Everyone wants to have a perfect family, a compassionate one where there are no problems, bickering’s or fights. But let us admit it, only a handful of families like that exist, especially when you live in an Asian household.

    A common trait of Asian parenting is that the wishes of the parents are always the ones that gets followed, simply because the traits of the child represents the success of the parents.

    Filial piety is almost considered as the basic foundation in families, while it could be considered as a form of toxic parenting by some scholars, this form of practice could also be seen as a form of duty and obligations towards one’s elders.

    As a concept, it could be used negatively and positively depending on the context of the situation.  I believe that R88 does justice to the idea of filial piety by objectively portraying it in the most sublime way possible, where it succinctly explained how tradition can oftentimes be viewed as wisdom than a form of control.

    The show clearly juxtaposed the rights and the corresponding duties it entails for everyone in the family.

  1. Food and Liquor make almost any problem bearable

    The most common thing you’d find in the series is the food being served on each family’s table and how often liquor is treated in the background of any emotional or otherwise challenging situations.

    The formula is simple, if something is bothering your heart, a bottle of soju and talking about it will always do the trick. Of course, it automatically will not make you better, but munching on good food followed by alcohol at the least makes any problem a bit bearable.

  1. A good education is not the end all be all

    It is emphasized a number of times in the series that having a good education is a sure path to success, however it can’t guarantee happiness. And even though all parents wanted this for their children, overall, what they really want is their children to be healthy and happy.

    And therefore, perhaps the most heartbreaking character of the series for me is the character of Sung Bo Ra.  Anyway, I will not dwell too much on this as I might mess it up for the people who want to watch the movie.

  1. People are not victims of circumstances, however, they are victims of their decisions

    It is said that if you really want something you must treat it as something more important than your life or your career.

    This applies to loving another person or trying to achieve your dreams. It is said that if you fail to plan, you are actually planning to fail, but in reality, if you don’t decide and work on any plan at all then you’ve already failed. Stop blaming others, for once be responsible for yourself, and take extreme ownership.

    6. Dreams can’t always be achieved, but life has a strange way of making up for it

    I was once asked by a friend of mine about what is that one thing that would make me feel alive, I answered her that everything I do now hinges on and is dependent on the amount of food I can give my family. The same answer applies to the stories in R88,

    Whereas everyone has a dream they want to achieve and yet life happens, and their priorities shifted to another and they eventually forget about what they really want. While others do not have any dreams at all and allows life to pull them wherever it wants them to go AND THAT’S OKAY.

    Dreams and goals are the products of sacrifices you are willing to take, and thus the sad character of Sung Bo Ra, but what really matters is what your heart really wants. If you can find something in your heart that you want and work on it, the universe has a way of giving it to you yet sometimes it also has a way of pointing you to another direction where your skills and person will be of better use.

    But again, sometimes life has a way of pushing you elsewhere and again THAT’S OKAY.

  1. Having someone have your back no matter the situation, is a game changer in life

    There’s a saying that no man is an island, and human beings are social creatures, R88 portrays this with gusto as such that one who watches it would want to wish they also have that same kind of support.

    And indeed, sometimes all people need is a sense of certainty that no matter when they messed up they can always find someone who will help them up when needed the most. This video of Simon Sinek encapsulates this importance.

  2. Depression is treatable

    One of the most powerful scenes in the series is the part where the mother of Jung Hwan suffered it. But what makes the scenes so memorable is the way everyone in the family and the neighborhood chipped in, in helping her handle it. This perhaps is the highlight of the entire series, the constant honoring of one’s parents and the love of one’s parents to their children. I believe everyone associated deeply with the series because of these values.

  3. Mothers and Fathers have their own unique ways in handling misery

    What I love about the series is how it effectively illustrates the difference between men and women and the vulnerability each sex is able to afford around the same sex.

    The series clearly defines the experiences of both genders unique in their own right and with respect to the people experiencing it without ever forcing an ideology in between.

    In this age of political correctness where biology, individuality and personality is sacrificed to accommodate “equality of the sexes regardless of their biology even in how they should handle their emotions”, it is a breath of fresh air to be able to witness how powerful each character in handling their own issues without the writer ever succumbing to the pressures of the “woke agenda”.

    Indeed, biology has a huge influence on a person’s behavior and this scientific truth can never be eradicated no matter how much political correction coercion by society.

    Anyway, I am already digressing, but honestly the series encapsulates the range of emotions of men and women differently and yet perfectly.  The series definitely allowed men to be men and women to be women and that’s OKAY.

  1. Everything has an end, and the only thing that matters is how much you loved

    I have never cried as much the way I cried when the series ended as opposed to other Kdrama’s. While other Kdramas I’ve seen where I still wanted it to continue, this particular series ended the way it ought to be albeit not the way it should be.

    Because even though on may think that all’s well that ends well, the future Bo Ra and Deok Son says otherwise, each particular character has another hurdle to contend with and the ending of the series is really not the ending but merely another beginning.

    This is the genius of the series, it presents life not as we want it to be, but as one would not expect of it. What I love about it is the series’ parallelism with the movie Forrest Gump (it was also in the series and by the way one of my favorite films along with interview with a vampire) because seriously it is like the Movie Forrest Gump with a twist.

What I love about the series is the nostalgia behind it. I practically lived that era. I grew up wearing the same clothes they wear, listening to the same genre of music they listen to (albeit not Korean music, though) doing the same things when internet and mobile phones were non-existent.

Those were the times when being bored is also non-existent, it is either you are reading, sleeping, watching TV/VHS or listening to the radio with your cassette tape.

The only thing that is not in the series, perhaps is a guitar which I played a lot back then.

Anyway, I wonder what happened to the ring of Jung Hwan and the girlfriend of No Eul…

Now before I end this article, I want to explain why Jung Bong is my favorite character in the series.

Firstly Jung Bong isn’t what one would call good looking compared with the other characters, in fact he almost had nothing going on for him, except for the fact that when he puts his mind into something he follows it through and through. He also has a talent for making people happy and at ease with themselves. Everyone is his friend, and everyone can be sure to rely on him when they need something.

he is also courageous and is not afraid to speak his mind when needed, he is also sensitive and openly shows how much he loves the people around him.

His story and his struggles becomes a major highlight of the series and by that it brought another angle on how life is viewed from the vantage point of the ones considered as losers based on the rigid demands of society.

In ending I can’t emphasize more how much I love this series; I am pretty sure to watch it again in the near future.

For now, I will listen to its OST and dance to Sobachang hahaha

Here are some quotes I found on the web from the series they are all from HERE and HERE:

Episode 1 (Hand in Hand)

This day wasn’t that special of a day. The misery of being second daughter was always like this, after all. As it is for middle children all over the world, for the eldest, it was because they’re the eldest, and for the youngest, it was because they’re the youngest, that I had to always yield to them. Even so, I thought that my mom and dad were aware of how much I’d sacrificed. But that wasn’t the case. Perhaps, our own family is the most oblivious. – Sung Deok Sun

I cut myself while I was trying to shave. Mom… I’m fine. My friends said that they all cut themselves the first time. It’s not because of Dad. – Sun Woo

Dads don’t automatically become dads the moment you’re born either. It’s my first time being a dad too. So… I’d like it if you could go easy on me. – Sung Appa

Perhaps, our own family is the most oblivious. But… what’s so important about knowing? In the end, what helps you climb over the wall isn’t brains, but the heart that’ll take your hand and won’t let you go. In the end, that’s family. Even for heroes, their rightful place to return in the end is family. The pain inflicted upon you outside the door, and the scars inflicted on you by life itself, and even the sadness brought onto you by family, the people who will hold you and stand by you until the end… in the end, it’s family. – Sung Deok Sun

Episode 2 (The One Thing You’re Mistaken About Me)

It’s just that adults were holding on. They were just busy being adults and they just acted strong due to the pressure that came with their age. Adults feel pain, too. – Sung Deok Sun

Even so, it’s fine to be deluded sometimes. If you can make your mom happy by making her think her cooking is good, it’s easy enough to eat bad tasting lunches without any complaints. There’s no need to force the harsh truth onto happy delusions. Sometimes, delusion make us happy. – Sung Deok Sun

Everyday. I miss my mom every single day. – Choi Taek

An adult-like child is just one without complaints. It’s just that they’ve acclimated to the world of adults and they’ve grown used to the illusions around them. But an adult-like child is still a child. An illusion is short, but a misunderstanding lasts a long time. That’s why illusions offer freedom while misunderstanding chain you down. – Sung Deok Sun

The alley creates friendships just through the power of time. That is how the taciturn child and the four noisy kids became friends. And that’s how we became five. – Sung Deok Sun

Episode 3 (The Rich are Innocent and The Poor are Guilty)

President Roosevelt once said, “There’s more to be learned from stamps than from school.” – Kim Jung Bong (LOL)

Back then, the friend of yours seemed like God himself, our savior. Have more of those friends. Instead of having bad friends who hurt you. – Mi Ran Omma

The rich are innocent, and the poor are guilty. If one has money, one is blameless, and if one has no money, one bears blame. – Announcer on TV

Episode 4 (Can’t help ~ ing)

No matter how much better others’ thing may seem, they all have their faults. – Sung Appa

There’s nothing one is more sick of and considers more tacky than something that has belonged to them for a long time. However, another way to say “tacky” and “sick of” is “accustomed to” and “comfortable”. The feeling of being accustomed only comes with having spent a long time with something. And only the people I’m comfortable with can truly know me, embrace me, and console me. Sometimes, you’re so sick of something and it seems so tacky that you don’t even want to look at it, but the only people in the world who can protect me are “my people”. People who I’m used to, and am comfortable with, people who have been my people for a long time are people who you cannot help but love. We cannot help loving them. – Kim Jung Hwan read quotes from book

Episode 5 (Prepare for Winter)

I’m my mother’s precious daughter, too. – Sun Young Omma

Sometimes, I felt like my mom was an embarrassment. There were time I couldn’t understand why she seemed to have self-consciousness or a sense of pride and got angry. I didn’t realize it then, but it was because there was something precious that she wanted to protect more than herself. And that it was because of me. When true love manifests it doesn’t allow one to be concerned over one’s pride and causes one to cast it aside. That’s why mothers are strong. – Sung Bo Ra

They say that God created mothers because God can’t be everywhere at once. Even when one is at the age to be a mom, one’s mother is always one’s guardian and even saying the word, “Mom” is something that has the power to tug at one’s heartstrings. Mothers are always strong. – Sung Bo Ra

When one is at the age when one can console one’s mother, it’s when one has matured past being able to say “Thank you” and “I love you.” If one wishes to make one’s mother happy, the words, “Mom, I need you,” are more than enough. – Sung Bo Ra

Episode 6 (The First Snow is Falling)

Whenever I see him, my mood brightens. And even when I’m eating or studying, all I can think about is him. This is love, right? – Sung Deok Sun

I have someone I like, but I haven’t been able to confess my feeling for two years now. – Sun Woo

They say that the chances of your confession succeeding increase to over 90 percent on the first day of snow of the year. I wonder if it’s because of the romantic atmosphere it creates. If you love someone right now and you’re wondering whether or not you should confess tonight’s your chance. Muster up your courage and confess. Well, though there’s over a 90 percent chance of success, the remaining 10 percent… has you relying on sheer luck. You’ll have to leave it to chance. – Lee Mon Sae (DJ on Radio)

And by any chance, if there is anyone who hasn’t been confessed to by the one they love yet, or, if you’re suffering from love-related pains, don’t be too sad. Another person may be in love with you, right now. And they may just confess to you that they’ve like you for a long time, even though you were totally unaware. – Lee Mon Sae (DJ on Radio)

Episode 7 (To That Person)

Forget about that. Instead of an apology, I’ll give you a “B”-pology. – Kim Appa (LOL)

There’s nobody else like you on this planet, Mr. Choi. You make him a warm meal every morning. When it rains, you stand and wait for Taek outside of the Baduk club. You’ve never even watched TV properly because you were afraid of distrubing him. Taek is aware of all of these things, too. He’s such a happy child in the inside because he know how much his father loves and cherishes him. – Sun Young Omma

Use this head of yours and give it some serious thought about why I came. – Kim Jung Hwan (It may feel swooning in the drama, but in real life it’s kinda frustrating *IMO*)

It’s your birthday, but I couldn’t have dinner with you. I’m sorry. Dad… You know that I love you so much, right? – Taek

What do you want as a gift? I’ll buy you anything you want. – Taek (Taekie’s smile!!! >.<)

I was at the age when I no longer believed in Santa or felt my heart flutter because of Secret Santa. I was at an age when a present that was secretly left behind or secretly conveyed gentleness wasn’t enough to fulfill my expectations. Excitement that would probably escape up to the back of my throat and choke me if I were to try and suppress it. Embarrassment that would probably make my heart explode if I were to admit to it. I was dying to make it obvious, but didn’t want to get caught. That was the excitement we felt back in 1988. We were 18 years old back then. – Sung Deok Sun

Time continues on. That’s why time eventually creates farewells and it always leaves people with regrets. If you love someone, you have to tell them now, before your fleeting days become filled with regret. In some ways, the biggest present that time leaves us with is the memories we have of loving others. That’s why you have to shove embarrassment aside, and confess your love to the one you love before it’s too late. – Sung Deok Sun

Episode 8 (One Warm Word)

That guy really knows nothing about you. You’re a warm person. And you’re a good person. – Sun Woo

Because my heart is warm. People with warm hearts have cold hands. – Sung Bo Ra (I loooooveeee this scene)

You’re strong person, Mom. You’re a strong person, but your son has such a weak body… and such a weak heart. – Kim Jung Bong

One’s feelings can be put into words. That’s why just one word can give off warmth. In this cold, harsh world, the thing that allows one to recognize the warmth that is present in life, and makes it worth living is not a wise saying, or a refined, witty word. Rather, it is one warm word filled with one’s raw, unrefined feelings. – Sung Deok Sun

Episode 9 (What It Means to Cross the Line)

There’s no set order when it comes to dying. This is just the way life is. – Choi Appa

Isn’t life… and this world… so unfair? – Sun Young Omma

And what about my Sun Woo? He hates seeing me suffer so he doesn’t want me doing dishes or doing other part time jobs. And because of that he’s never asked for brand name goods his whole life. – Sun Young Omma (Sun Woo is reaaaaally a perfect son)

If you hadn’t called me to Seoul at that time, Sun Young… I would have still been drinking every day, unable to forget Taek’s mom. Thanks for calling me here. The best thing I ever did was moving to Seoul. – Choi Appa (I looove this flashback scene)

Let’s go to the concert together. Not as friends, but as a man and a woman. – Sun Woo (KYAAAA!!!)

A line indicates a limit, saying, “That’s as far as you get.” To maintain that boundary means to maintain the same familiarity and it means the one will respect the universe that it outlines through abiding by its rules and maintaining the relationships existing in it as they are. This also means that, if one were never cross that line, one would never experience the world, rules and relationships outside of the currently established boundaries. If one wishes for a new relationship… if one wishes for love… one must cross the line. If one were to not cross the line, that line would demarcate the limit of how far you and that person can go. – Sung Deok Sun

Episode 10 (Memory)

As expected, diligence does not betray you! – Kim Jung Bong

You have to struggle a bit in life to grow. – Ryu Dong Ryong

I think I know the reason now. The reason why I always get depressed around my birthday. I think I know that reason now. I guess I always reminded of my mom. I wish I could give her a call, at least I want to call her, since it’s my birthday, but there’s no place that I can call. I miss my mom so much. I want to see my mom…. so much. – Kim Appa

You really know how to incovenience someone. You keep appearing in front of me and I keep getting tangled up with you. But… you doing that… is because of me, I think. I think I did something to give you hope. Okay. Let’s date. I like you too. – Sung Bo Ra

Episode 11 (Three Prophecies)

Life is full of twists and turns. – Sun Young Omma

I like you because you’re so good. – Sung Bo Ra (Bo Ra is flirting KYAAAA!!!)

You think my mom is just sitting around while you dad plays Go-Stop? My Mom is Ra Mi Ran, all right? – Kim Jung Hwan (LOL)

You don’t need to go to college or get a fancy title. This are all not needed. What do you need that piece of paper for? As long as you don’t wrong others and can provide for yourself, that’s good enough. I’m fine with it even if you don’t get into college. – Kim Appa (I like how wise Kim Appa in comforting Jung Bong)

Episode 12 (What It Means to Love Someone)

The moment you think that it’s too late is, It’s really too late. – Wang Ja Hyun (A foreshadow?)

Go ahead. I’ll be here. – Choi Taek (Taekieeee >.<)

I’m fine, really. I don’t need nice shoes or clothes. I don’t need to go to a cram school! I don’t need what any of the other kids have. I just want her to not work. I really hate seeing my mom suffer. – Sun Woo

Hey. Forget that. Just go massage your mom’s shoulders. You hate seeing your mother suffer, right? And not seeing her suffer makes you feel more at ease. Hey, well, for your mom, not being able to buy you Nikes is what she hates. Why are you only thinking of yourself? Have some consideration for how your mom feels. Is your peace of mind the only important thing? Loving someone isn’t just the room to give. It’s the desperate need to give because you have to. Sun Woo, you love your mom, right? Hey, it’s really difficult to love someone. – Sung Bo Ra (I love the dynamic of SunBora. They complete each other)

To love someone, does not only mean that you love to feel them near you, but it means that you love to acclimate yourself to them. And also, to love someone, means that even if that person endlessly causes you pain and so you find yourself endlessly wanting to hate them… yet… you can never hate them. To love someone, doesn’t mean that you don’t hate them. It means that you can never be able to hate them. – Sung Bo Ra

Episode 13 (Superman Returns)

My kids being happy is my happiness. – Sun Young Omma

Do you think that your mom will be with you forever? Don’t you feel sorry for her? Be nice to her while she’s still around. – Sung Appa

Taek-ah. Be good to your dad. It really seems like you’re everything to him. – Sun Woo

When I was young, Superman lived at my house. He was a MacGyver-type of guy who could fix anything in the world. He was the Jjanga who’d appear out of nowhere to fix every sort of problem. He was the hero of all heroes who had no weakness. However, I came to know the truth after growing out of my childhood. We was just not discovered, but even Superman was human. We don’t know how many dirty, petty, unfair, sad, scary, or difficult worlds have passed Dad by. And only now, I realize… no matter how dirty, petty, unfair, sad, scary, or difficult, the reason he endured was because he had people to protect. It’s because he had a family. And he had me. Because he had to live the world by the name Dad, and not another. – Sung Bo Ra

Episode 14 (Don’t Worry, Dear)

Late winter of 1989. Whether my heart was pounding crazily because of my illness, or because of her. I… wanted to find out. Confirm. – Kim Jung Bong

You (Deok Sun) look the worst when you try to dress it up. – Sung No Eul (LOL)

As parents, it breaks our hearts that we can’t help our child fulfill her dream. – Sung Appa

There’s a sweet and kind girl in our class named Deok Sun. You can count on her. If something were to happen, there’s nothing to worry about. She’s very smart. – Deok Sun’s Teacher (Deok Sun is such a SWEETHEART <3)

Noona, I think I know. The reason why I hate ahjussi. Why I hate him… I think I know now. I feel sorry for my dad. I… feel so sorry for my dad. Dad… I’m sorry. I’m really sorry. – Sun Woo (Sun Woo-ah… T_T)

Deok Sun. How do you feel? Instead of other people liking you, who is it that you like? You’re so clear about the way you like to eat sweet potatoes. Don’t you have a type of person you like? You can like someone instead of someone liking you, right? – Ryu Dong Ryong

You don’t know anything about me. There is someone I like. And… I’m going to confess… soon. – Choi Taek

Episode 15 (Between Love and Friendship)

It’s okay Dad. I’ll earn tons of money later and buy you a nice house. – Sung Deok Sun (Deok Sun is a sweet daughter)

Mom! I’m sorry! Mom… have you given up on me? Huh? Have you given up on me? Why am I Deok Sun? I’m Soo Yeon, Mom! – Sung Deok Sun

Mi Ok, do you know this? Vienna is the capital city of Austria, but the capital city of my heart is you. – Kim Jung Bong

Taek-ah… Thanks. For today. – Kim Jung Hwan (The bromance is so <3 <3 <3)

They say that one needs to look at someone’s eyes to know whether or not they like someone. They say that one’s eyes can’t lie. – Sun Woo

You’re not hurt anywhere? If you’re not hurt, that’s good enough. It’s okay… – Dong Ryong’s Omma (Mom is indeed a mother)

Episode 16 (Life is Irony Part 1)

Kids! Even though it’s hard now, you’ll look back on these times with fond memories when you get older and have kids. Okay? Yeah. You probably don’t understand what I mean, at your age. You don’t realize what a great time in your life this actually is. – Deok Sun’s Teacher

Dad… I want you to have a warm meal, even when I’m not here with you. It’s your life, Dad. I want you to be happy. If it will make you happy, then I’m fine with it all. – Choi Taek (Taekie is really mature son)

Don’t you know the concept of “passing”? Just move on! – Ryu Dong Ryeong

Buy and eat meat for yourself once in a while. it’s not much. Don’t buy crappy 500 won meals. Have some meat every so often. – Sung Appa

Episode 17 (Life is Irony Part 2)

Sun Woo-ah. Before… one time I was at the Baduk Club and came home early. But Dad was alone. He was eating just cold rice mixed with water. He hadn’t expected me to be home early. Dad was so flustered and surprised. I had a thought at that moment. When I saw him so flustered… and so surprised that he didn’t know what to do with himself… when I saw him standing there like that… I thought to myself that it would be nice if he had a good person by his side. I’m happy that it’s your mom. – Choi Taek (Awww… these two T_T)

For my little brother… to be able to do what he really wants to do. Jung Hwan-ah. Hyung… don’t want you to go to the air force academy because of me. For my little brother… I want him to be able to do what he wants to do. That is my wish. – Kim Jung Bong (And these two T_T)

My… My wish is… I wish that guy (Taek)… I wish that guy was a really big jerk. – Kim Jung Hwan (Jung Hwan’s frustration T_T)

Appa (Dad)’s hopes and dreams? I want my Bo Ra, Deok Sun, and No Eul to never be in pain. And to be healthy. That’s the only dream that I have. That’s… that’s your dad’s dream. Having all three of my kids being healthy and not sick. Besides that, what could I want? There’s nothing, there’s the only one. – Sung Appa

I, too, wish Taek wouldn’t take after me. That is my dream. I want Taek to be like other kids. He should complain, be irritable, and get angry. Like that… I wish he would show his inner thoughts to other people more often. He started baduk at young age and was surrounded by adults. He developed a habit of holding in his anger. He wasn’t that introverted in the beginning. There’s nothing else for me. I just want him live like others his age. Also to stop taking sleeping pills. For even one day, I’d like for him to sleep peacefully. That is my dream. – Choi Appa

Why am I the only one with no dream? I was feeling troubled about it. But my talk with Dad was very comforting for me. However, I still envy people who have dreams. I envy Ja Hyun who wants to be a hairdresser. It may sound silly, but I also envy No Eul and his dreams of becoming a singer. How did they find out what they want to do? And why is that I don’t have anything I want to do. I feel pathetic tonight. – Sung Deok Sun

Saturday, April 4, 1989. It was the most shameful day of my life. I embraced Sung Bo Ra. – Sung Deok Sun (Even these two T_T)

Episode 18 (Goodbye, First Love)

And older noona is Sung Bo Ra. You could drop her in the middle of the Amazon and she’d survive. Don’t worry. – Sung No Eul (LOL)

Fate doesn’t come around at any time. At the very least, to use the term fate, it has to be a dramatic moment brought by coincidence. That’s what makes it fate. That’s why, another term for fate, is timing. If I had not been caught at any of those damn traffic lights, if any of those red lights had helped me just once, I might be standing in front of her, as if it were fate. My first love was always held back by that damn thing called timing. That damned timing. – Kim Jung Hwan

But fate and timing aren’t just coincidences that find you. They are miraculous moments made from numerous choices arising out of earnestness. Surrender and decision, without hesitation, that is what makes timing. He (Taek) was more ardent. And I should have been more courageous. It was not the traffic light’s fault. It was not timing. It was my many hesitations. – Kim Jung Hwan

I thought that there might be a one percent chance it would be you. But then I was told his nickname was “Trash”. “Ah, then, that one percent chance is gone.” But then I though about it again. I should bet on another one percent chance. That the word would reach your ears. Same school, same department. Same class year. That the word would reach your ears. When the word would reach your ears, though it’s just one percent chance, if you might still like me, maybe we can start over again. I came here with that hope. Sun Woo-ah… I know this sounds crazy. But I missed you. – Sung Bo Ra (Bo Ra, You Rock, Girl!!!)

Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get. Though you may pick the bitterest chocolate, there’s nothing you can do about it. That’s the fate that I have chosen. There are no regrets, no whining, and there is no need for the heartbreak. – Kim Jung Hwan (Jung Hwan-ah T_T)

Deok Sun-ah… I was going to give it (the ring) to you when I graduated this year. I’m only giving it you now. I like you. I said, I like you. Hey, do you know what I’ve done because of you? I waited over an hour by our front door every day to go to school with you. Until you came home from the study rooms, I was so worried that I couldn’t get a wink of sleep. “Why is she so late?” “Did she fall asleep again?” Hey. My mind was only on you. You. When we ran into each other accidentally on the bus, and when we went to the concert together, also, on my birthday, when I got the shirt as present from you, I was really… so happy that I thought I was going to go crazy. I want to see you more than a dozen times a day. I was happy just to see you. I wanted to say this since a long time ago. I really like you. I love you. – Kim Jung Hwan (Jung Hwan-ah!!! Lemme hug you T_T)

Episode 19 (You Did Your Best)

Aren’t all good-looking guys Oppa? – Sun Young Omma (it’s Ahn Yo Na’s rule LOL)

I want to be an important part of your life. – Sun Woo (I’m melting >.<)

It’s expensive medicine. Make sure to take it. Pillar of the house, your second daughter. – Sung Deok Sun (Deok Sun has grown up very well)

This is why a household needs daughter. Wait. The second “Daughter” will be there soon. – Kim Jung Hwan (Jung Hwan-ah… *melts*)

Sung Siblings made a Thank You’s Plaque as a gift for Sung Appa’s Pension (I cried a lot in this scene)

I realized something really big today. I though it was all over once the petals bloomed. But once those petals open, there is another fruit that blooms.– Sung Appa

Episode 20 (Goodbye My Youth, Goodbye Ssamundong)

Omma, Until now, I’ve never done something you’ve told me not to do. Even with college, and my major, I did everything you wanted me to do. I don’t regret any of it! But, with my marriage, at least, I want it to be with the person I love. Omma, can you let go of the way you feel, just this once? – Sun Woo (Sun Woo never disappointed me <3 <3 <3)

Taek-ah… I trust you. Does our relationship like it’s going to change easily? I won’t change. – Sung Deok Sun

They say you grow up when you get married. I must finally be growing up. Thank you, Ahjussi (to Choi Appa), for not letting my mom be lonely. – Sun Woo (Awwww…. <3 <3 <3)

Bo Ra’s Letter for Sung Appa (I’m speechless T_T)

Sung Appa’s Letter for Bo Ra (Again I’m crying T_T Best scene in Ep 20)

Time will always flow. Everything will pass by. Everything will age. That might be why youth is beautiful. It shines, blindingly bright, for just an instant. But, to it, you can never go back. A time when many tears were shed. The time of my youth was like that as well. – Sung Deok Sun

1988. This is the end of our Ssamundong story. Longing for that time and longing for that street is not because I miss a younger version of myself. That’s the place of my father’s youth, of my mother’s youth, of my friends’ youth. It’s the place that holds the youth of everything that I love. In that landscape, where we won’t be able to gather like that again, I regret being unable to say my final farewell. To, the things that are already gone, to a time that has already passed, I want to say a belated farewell. Goodbye, my youth. Goodbye, Ssamundong. – Sung Deok Sun

A time so warm and pure, that it was painful. Can you hear me? If you can hear me, answer me, my 1988, the days of my youth. – Sung Deok Sun

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