173 Lena Iwasaki


Although you only see three uneven stick figures, they have only memories and laughter. In the midst of University City, there is a small church. From the outside, it looks like an old apartment building because there are no signs to say it is a church. We only have our joyful Sunday singing and the fliers my father hands out. Through the worn-out steps and cracked pavement, this church holds many unforgettable memories. Ching, Chong, and Chang; we named ourselves. Acting stupid to make people laugh was our hobby, and we had become an inseparable trio in the community. About four years ago, there was a motel built next to our church. This motel looked quite similar to an old abandoned RV van, and we often went exploring around it. The church’s backyard somehow connected with the motel’s back space and created small alleyways. One day, we decided to play a game where we couldn’t touch the concrete ground because it was lava. The three of us clung onto walls, rocks, and other objects to somehow go all around the motel. When we got to the front, we decided to peek through the dark windows to “spy.” Being the bold and stupid one in the group, I opened the door. Suddenly, the loudest alarm began to beep throughout the neighborhood. Before anyone could catch a glimpse of the culprits, we ran for our lives. When police cars began pulling up in front of the next door motel, we camouflaged ourselves in the bushes along the backyard. Linako, Miae and I cried and prayed to God we didn’t get thrown in jail for trespassing. Luckily, the cops understood that it was just a prank and left. Despite the tears and desperate prayers, we had never laughed so hard in our life. I have so many stories about Ching Chong, and Chang but I guess this one stayed with me the most. I can only feel grateful to the city of Philadelphia for giving me memories overflowing with laughter.