in North Korea you’ll find everyone: farmers, nurses, fishermen, secretaries, school kids with blue-buttons and red handkerchief uniforms, traffic police, sellers, librarians, old people and young people. North Korea has everyone like in most other countries. The only difference? Everyone looks likes they’re still in 1940′s.
Our tour, as spectacular as it was, gave us the chance to see quite a lot in fact. From the capital Pyongyang to remote countryside villages it’s outstanding how things, impressions, reactions and even reality change dramatically, from the city where everything seems so perfectly in order and sometimes even staged to the most remote village where most people have never seen a tourist before and showed us the most sincere kindness and welcome. Why do I say this? Simply because of the look in their face:
As we toured around on our bus, my taking photos was limited so most of my shots come from my bus windows. Not too bad I have to say, it was funny to see how most of us were so thrilled to capture every moment that everyone kept their cameras focused on the windows the whole time.
A first glance of Pyongyang right after we landed. As the bus was taking us to our hotel I thought how much this area looks like the old Macul neighborhood in Santiago
The next few days where focused entirely on the city of Pyongyang, visits to monuments, statues, museums, libraries and even the maternity hospital. People I found there looked at us with caution, indifference or very little attention. It’s not a city where locals would pile to see foreigners. Sometimes we could perceive some fear, and considering the propaganda they live with everyday, it makes sense
On the Pyongyang subway, with wagons coming all the way from post-war Germany. Not a word from locals
The Grand People’s Study House is the city library and one of the most famous buildings. Built in 1982 in honor of Kim Il-Sung 70th birthday, is today a huge study building where we saw people taking classes of art, science, IT, history. Because of the locals attitude, some of my group say it was all staged and prepared in advance before our coming, while others say “Hey, you’ve never seen people studying in a library before?”
and my favorite study room, I bet that lessons here are unique
School kids standing on Kim Il Sung Square. This is as close as I could get, two grumpy men yelled something so… I kept distance
People just walking in the center area
And people using public computers for intranet, not internet
A guy using an old cellphone model (probably a Nokia 6220), and as I said earlier 3G is very aleatory only allowed for tourists. As far as I know was recently allowed again.
But as soon as you step out of Pyongyang, everything is different
People are friendlier, smilier, more intrigued towards us. It’s like curiosity overcomes any sort of idea or fear they might have.
Young guys working at a cinema stage in Kaesong City, they were staging the scenario for a Japanese style movie
I saw the old woman below from our bus, I waved at her and she smiled and waved back to us
Completely devoted, every museum guide we found performed their job with high devotion and completely belief towards their Leaders
Technically, we were absolutely not allowed to take photos of buildings under construction and military. But somehow, even those soldiers were glad to take photos with us in the Demilitarized Zone. Plus Stanito hardly follows the rules, so…
And then Nampho, where we danced with locals on a sunny day at the beach
Here I was in Sariwon park, people were dancing on post war folklore music
Eat on the street
Wait for someone or something (maybe a bus or they’re just taking a break)
And a dad tells her little girl to wave at me