Amusement park is a duty!
All North Korea fotos – Copyrite Rainer Hamet
In the flite to Pyongyang in North Korea with the old russian Ilyushin the passengers get a nice maggazin about North Korea ware they can see menny nice fotos and reed a lot about Kim Il Sung, provided they speek korian. I get thru the imigration quite quikly, much quicker than the imigration of the USA, the so-calld cuntry of freedom. But then at the customs i hav to leev my celfone – at leest nobody has to leev his laptop, as was the case a little wile ago. They’r improving! From the loudspeekers yu heer revolutionary music, on the walls thare ar lots of pictures of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. I get out, looking for the peeple from the koriano travel agency KTCI, i see a guy waring a brazilian soccer t-shirt. Yu find peeple waring brazilian soccer t-shirts like water in the ocean, but in North Korea i decide to ask, and indeed, the guy and the guy standing beside him ar brazilians. They work at the embassy, we go out to smoke a cigaret, chat a bit, and, hey, i hav to find my group! I find them, we go to the busses and then they tel me that this is not my group. I look around and find my group, ware i heer that they’v been looking for me despratly. Befor we get in the bus, the guide asks us if evrybody has a veesa. I ask the guide if he realy beleevs that ennybody can get thru this areport without a veesa. Then they find out that 2 passengers, including me, ar on the wrong list: we’r going bak by trane, so our celfones shouldnt stay heer. We hav to go bak into the security zone, find our celfones and they go with us to the hotel. Of course we dont carry them, this is the guides’ job.
We go to the city with the bus and pass thru frendly green meddoes, and wen it gets urban, yu see mostly tipical prefab buildings that dont make a very fresh impression. On the bord-TV yu see laffing pesant wimmen who dance in the rithm of revolutionary music. The streets ar broad, men hav dark brown uniforms, usualy they’r soldiers, walking or cicling. Most cars ar Mercedes, but they’r not menny. it seems the norde koriano goverment found an exelent solution for the problem of the trafic jams. Peeple ar mostly quite slim, sometimes almost bidimensional, so it seems that problem has been solvd by the revolutionary goverment too. The first stop is at the Arc du Triomphe of Pyongyang, wich is taller than the one in Paris. Of course. The guys in the group make pictures non stop, i just stay around. The only thing i had to make pictures was my celfone, and i dont hav it now. Peeple can make pictures heer, but in genral it is always good to ask the guide first.
The hotel Yanggakdo is on a river iland, a big and modern hotel. My group stays in the 38th flor, and we eet in the revolving restaurant on the 42th flor. Befor that, our passports ar taken away. The food is not as good as in Sude Korea or in the koriano restaurants in the world, but it is OK. Only the famus kimchi, the hot cabbage, is hot – in Sude Korea neerly evrything is hot. As dessert we get apple slices, and that wil be like that all the time. It wil be a running gag that we ask wen the chocolat pudding is coming. The beer that comes with the food is included in the price, but after that it gets hard to order mor, they dont like to sel it. But at leest it is cheep, a bit mor than a dollar the big bottle. The nice thing heer is that i stil can smoke in the restaurants, this is stil a free cuntry. Inbetween a guy from the group informs me that my liter that i baut in the hotel shop is burning by itself, on the table. I put out the fire, the liter gets ofended and doesnt work ennymor. The group is rather atipical, all individdualists who traveld a lot and never in a group – but thare is no other way. Ennyway we make lots of jokes – of course not about Norde Korea, it is all about rabbits and bares. The majority of the group is from Eest Germany, then thare ar a few west germans, austris and me, the brazo-bavaro.
We hav quite a tite schedule, so we dont hav silly thauts. After brekfast we go to a huge park downtown. On the way our guide explanes us that the colectivity is very important in Korea (they call the cuntry simply Korea – the south is just occupied by the americans) and we should be a good colectiv too, staying together and not going in all sorts of directions. It is a funny situation: We hav the guide, Mister Kim, and the caretaker calld Mister Li. Mister Kim is the sheperd who leeds us, we switch to the sheep-modus and behind us is Mister Li, the german sheperd. One koriano sheperd and a german sheperd who keep the sheep together. We come to the statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, thare aint statues of the son yet. We hav to buy two big bouquets, one from the group has to bring the flowers to the statues, and of course we hav to bend down to show them our respect. Obviusly we’r not alone, thare ar lots of koris doing the same, usualy in groups: soldiers, yung pioneers and watever they’r calld. Kim (our leeder, not the koris leeder) tels us that the 20 meeter tall statues wernt eesy to build, laffing peeple ar a very complicated work for the sculptors, but the koris managed it in only 4 months. They’r increddible, aint they.
Then we hav a walk in the park, evryware beside the path thare ar peeple having barbecue and dancing. The food looks better than the one in the hotel. One doesnt know wether all this is a Potemkin village, certanly one tends to think so, but maybe it is the fact that we come into the cuntry loden with stereotipes about it, stereotipes that dont corespond necessarily to the trueth, and the eyes like to confirm our stereotipes. Ennyway, once we pass a big group, after 100 meeters the path disapeers behind the curv, i go bak a bit and look. They stopd dancing. Probbably they wer tired.
One nice thing heer is that yu dont see iphone autists and internet junkies. Somehow it is a trip into the past, but also into the future: we visit some munuments and come by the grate piramid, wich is 330 meeters hi. Kim ses it is a hotel, later one guy in the group tels us that it SHOULD hav been a hotel, but the investor left the project, and now, after yeers of nothing happening, the costs for a renovation would be too hi. From outside it looks reddy, but thare is a lot missing inside. I herd an egiptian company, wich is suposed to modernize the telefone sistem, wil finnish it. Ennyway it is a crazy thing, a rocket in the skies, i think it is fantastic, it is pure sience fiction. I cant imagin a better place in the world to make the film to the book ‘Brave New World’ of Aldous Huxley.
Copirait Rainer Hamet pro la 2 fotos