People I Met in North Korea

I, honestly, didn’t know much about North Korea. Communist and isolated were the words I heard a lot about this country. I was excited to see how they were though.

I was surprised. Even though tourists didn’t have much time to interact with the locals, I could see they were nice and happy people. The immigration staff at the airport grinned at me while I silently said “Yeeaaah” having he returned my passport.

  1. Their fashion looked classic and colorless. I even didn’t see people wearing jeans, let alone tank top. The female seemed fashionable with their hairdo, dress, lace umbrella, and shoes, including cute school shoes for the girls. But, the guys, mostly similar: white shirt and dark or gray pants.
  2. The adults had job, obviously. Most of them, included our guides, had pin of former leader on their left chest. Though, the salary was low. Further, along the way, I looked many people working as farmers.
  3. Besides using bicycle, people were taking bus and metro for commuting around in the city. My group tried the train and local bus. Though, unlike the train, we didn’t join with the locals while taking the bus.
  4. I didn’t see big or fat person, even the soldiers were tiny and short. Talking to friends in my group, we agreed that we haven’t seen any good looking guys as well as long hair man.
  5. I don’t know how they date, but I noticed some couples sitting closely and walking holding hand. Apparently, there was love in the air of North Korea. Fyi, North Korean is encouraged to have as many as children. Once they get married, the government will provide them a house for free.
  6. One day, we caught some groups of had picnic under the trees by Taedong River. They were enjoying their lunch. They talked and laughed each other and greeted us walking through of them. My group also had chance to dance with some locals. They nicely asked us to join with them, and laughed looking our silly moves.
  7. People, especially children sometimes waved and smiled to tourists in the bus. They looked get used to with foreigners.
  8. Basically, there was no boundaries to the locals, except the army. We can take picture of the people, but not the men in uniform. One of my travel mates was shouted by a man when he’s taking picture in the restaurant car on our way to Beijing by sleeper train. We were waiting for our order, actually. We barely knew that a man wearing undershirt was an officer until he angrily talked in Korean pointed out my friend. The waitress told us what he said. Then we saw an army shirt hanging on the wall. We got it.

I might not deeply know the people to say nothing happen to them, but what I saw was they were just like people outside their country.  They were dancing, singing, and smiling.

What we see it’s weird might be it’s very normal for North Koreans. I am looking forward to seeing them again!

One comment Add yours
  1. Thanks for your reply regarding to my last question.

    Wow, even DPRK is developed country, newlyweds get house for free?!
    That was something..

    Someone says, you won’t know about a country until you visit and see the real place and mingle with the locals by person.
    Medias can’t be trusted for some reason.
    Thanks for sharing..

    “It’s not just about the destination, but the journey”

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