21 September 2009

Impressions of North Korea (Day 2)

The Great Leader's Mausoleum, Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetary, a ride on the Pyongyang Metro and a tour through the captured ship - USS Pueblo. The itinerary for our 2nd morning on our trip to North Korea promised to be as jam packed as the 1st day, but fortunately we were to have a respite that afternoon as we would be driving to Kaesong for our visit to the the DMZ.

14 September 2009

Am I On the Right Bus?

The other day I climbed on bus no 107 and did a double-take, wondering whether I was really on the right bus, but I was. It was part of the Nokia 5130 Express Music campaign.

11 September 2009

The Wedding Album

In the evenings around Boat Quay you will see bridal couples having their pictures taken. These couples are not yet married and in a number of cases the bride is not wearing her actual wedding dress. These pictures will form the basis for a book of pictures of the couple on display at the wedding.

Although I don't agree with the vast quantities of money that are spent on weddings, this is one custom that I will probably incorporate into my own one day. Because the pictures are taken before the wedding day itself there is less pressure to "hurry up" for the waiting guests.

02 September 2009

Impressions of North Korea (Day 1)

"Journalists Jailed", "Nuclear Missile Tests" and "I don't think that Bill Clinton will come to rescue you" were some of the comments I received when I mentioned where I was going on my next trip. I knew, however, that ironically the biggest threat to my safety was an attack on the North. We were there on a government sanctioned propaganda tour whose objective was to show the best the North had to offer. I must admit that I did get a bit spooked when chatting to a friend in the US Navy who said "we hear things that you don't", but it all turned out okay. Ironically the person who expressed the least concern when I told her about the trip was my Mom. "So why North Korea?" was the other question I frequently got asked. There was no compelling reason, but when a friend said that he was going and I was able to take the time off work - the question was "why not?" It was an amazing opportunity to visit somewhere different and off the beaten track (but we weren't able to get the passport stamp and I forgot to ask to keep the visa.)

Bridge of No Return - Looking back on Dangdong, China