[DPRK] Chapter 2: The People of Pyongyang
[This is the 3rd post in a series of blog posts about my adventures in the DPRK from 11 August - 17 August 2013. You can find previous posts here.]
One thing I was entirely unsure of when entering the DPRK was what the people would be like. We hear so much about the government and rulers, but what of the people, the everyday children, women and men on the street?
One thing that’s for certain, there’s a very dominant military presence in DPRK; about 20% of the population is part of the military.
Some of them were really nice, lots of them even forthcoming and friendly. Like this lovely lady, who gave us a tour of the War Museum.
We got to interact with members of the military quite a bit. Some of them were fierce, like the ones looking out for tourists when we weren’t supposed to be taking photos, but in general they’re like everyone else is. Give them respect and they’ll ease up a bit, even take some photos with you.
We were brought to a maternity hospital, where we met the local doctors. I was quite excited to meet their head gynecologist, female and very confident. She was born in the hospital, too!
And just like most boys, if there’s a game, they will play. Our bus driver is a bit of a Ping Pong legend.
We got to the library, where we had a seach intranet – the closest connection we had all week. Lots of people looking for their books.
Fun fact: They have Animal Farm by George Orwell in the library.
Up in the tower! This girl and I had an awesome connection, and we chatted lots. Most of them are really lovely people
On Liberation Day, we were taken to a park where locals have picnics and lots of dancing.
Some dancing was very gracefully done by a big group of old ladies, and was lovely to watch.
And some of it was more spontaneous. I wandered off a bit and found this crazy group of people doing some Harlem-shake style dancing. The guy in the cap is an absolute legend.
My favourite was this old man. I was pulled up by one of the ladies and danced with him! :’)
More of our people:
We spent a night in Wonsan, and the few of us who survived the night after a bottle of vodka partied up with some locals, who were up to some SERIOUS karaoke action.
More fun times living like the locals.
Picnics on the Pier in Wonsan.