The Ruthless Squad Leader In Shorts

http://blog.livedoor.jp/yasgreen/archives/166198.html
This is when I was in the Northern part of North Korea.

We were going to drink with the guys from the collective farms on the riverside.
The squad leader who was in charge of the guys there was a man who’s age was about 28. He was a real nice guy, but I didn’t like him that much.
He was the type of guys who always wore shorts even in the cold, and that was one of the reasons I knew I wouldn’t get along with him.

He was HIGH al the time and I thought he was on drugs or something. He never stopped talking and he would always sing North Korean folksongs on the other side of the river. All the other workers told him to shut up and threw stones at him, but all he does was smile.

On that day, I was with another group from Japan and it was my birthday. They all asked me if I was ready to jump into the river. They were going to throw me into the river for my birthday present. What a present.

So we all started to drink, but I was cautious because I knew someone was going to throw me in the river.
No one came to me, so I was relieved.

But suddenly, someone was behind me holding my neck.
It was the squad leader.

He started to pull me to the river.
The river’s water looked real cold. There was some ice floating and it was too much for a joke.

I cried to him, “Please don’t…..”
But all he would say is   “Come on!! Jump in!!”
The ruthless squad leader than threw me in the ice cold water.
I became unconscious.
Some people say the squad leader came into save me, some people say he just stood there laughing.
I’m not sure what really happened.

When I regained my consciousness, I remember him smiling asking me if I was okay.

I will never forget about him.

011

 

This is the squad leader. He was the type of guy who keeps his fiancés picture in his wallet.

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Going Abroad With The North Korean Passport Part II

http://blog.livedoor.jp/yasgreen/archives/2522658.html

Hey there!

 

I’m here today to talk about what happened after I got my North Korean Passport. With this, the world now recognizes me as a citizen from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

 

I decided to go on a trip using this passport.

On the way, I had to use Korean Airlines and I had to stop in Seoul for transit.

Why on earth would I do that with this passport?

It’s just because the tickets were cheaper this way.

 

I was feeling uneasy about my passport but I had no problems checking in.

When I entered the boarding gate, there was an announcement calling my name.

I knew it was about my passport, and so I went to the service counter.

 

My guess was wrong. It was just a notice about my seat’s TV set having problems. While the airline staff was apologizing about the circumstances, I felt the urge to do some mischief. I decided to show my North Korean passport.

 

Suddenly, the staff began to talk in Korean and seemed very terrified.

“Is …is….is…..it okay….?”

The staff was almost crying.

 

I would understand why.

Way back, there was such an incident as the “ Bombing of Korean Air Flight 858” .

 

If I was a terrorist, I wouldn’t be showing my North Korean passport to everybody…

So I guess the staff was real confused, trying to understand what was happening.

 

By the way, all the CAs from Korean Airline were sexy.

 

After two hours of flying, I arrived at Incheon airport.

I went through the transit gate, and I was predicting that I would be stopped by the staff.

 

Instead, this was what happened.

Staff : “Passport please…..uhh…..W….WOW!!!!? Is this real? You’re from the North?”

Me: “That’s’ right!” I answered with a smile.

 

He didn’t stop me and instead, he replied

“I was bored to death you know! It was my first time seeing the passport from the North! Thanks a lot!!”

We shook hands and that was all that happened.

 

*For your notice again, this was something that happened quite a while ago.

I have no idea what would happen if you try now. I think there are only a few people who posses the North passport in Japan.

This was my meal on the plane.

画像 001

By the way, I had a hard time going in and out of the country I was heading to. They treated me like I was a terrorist.

My tour guide there told me , “I’ve been doing a tour guide for ten years, but it’s my first time to see such passport.”

 

Going Abroad With The North Korean Passport Part I

http://blog.livedoor.jp/yasgreen/archives/2500202.html

 

Hi, I haven’t been writing recently.

I had a hard time deciding what I could write here.

 

So, do you recognize this?

This is the passport from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

People may be surprised to know that there is such thing….but of course there is! It’s a real country!

nk pass

 

Just for facts, it’s even possible for Japanese to get this passport.

Well…to make things clear, I would say, “There are Japanese people who have these passports.”

BUT! Only under certain circumstances, like being married to a Korean in Japan. You would have a hard time visiting your parents in law in North Korea if you only had a Japanese passport.

But there is also a fact that not many of the Koreans in Japan have this passport.

The association who would issue this passport in Japan would obviously be the General Association of Korean Residents, and I remember that it took about 10 days for the passport to be issues.

I waited for about a week or so, and received a package from the association.

I was excited to see my new brand new passport….

 

BUT!!

 

There was a big surprise waiting for me.

 

Can you see the red circle on the top right?

My passport was issued as a “Male”.

 

nk pass naka

 

Maybe my picture wasn’t that great, and my voice might have been a little low for a female….

But I still can’t understand why such a mistake could happen.

I would like to note here that the North Korean passport is expired for me and that I don’t posses one right now.

Here is a pic comparing the passports from the North and the South.

both  pass

It’s not possible to use or posses both passports at once. There may be a way but it would lead to big trouble. Don’t try!!

Mr. Kim

This story is a sequel to the “Tour guide” episodes.

Mr. Kim was a legendary tour guide among the people who have visited North Korea.
His first impression wasn’t quite bad.
When I first met him, I asked him which school he graduated from.
He laughed and said, “I’ve only graduated high school.”
Later, I found out that he had graduated from Kim Il-sung University’s elite course, and that he looked down on people who didn’t go to universities.

When we got to know each other well, he started to act very rude.

– He came late for breakfast, but he told us to change seats just because he was elder.
– When I bought some bread and water at a store, he told me to hand over the water, and he drank about half of the bottle and gave it back.
– He constantly says “Since I’m an elite…..”
– He starts asking for cigarettes in trade for guides.

….and so on.

That’s why we started to really hate Mr. Kim, but I also liked to make fun of this guy.
When he showed up, I ran into his way. I also asked stupid questions just to confuse and annoy him.
When there was a big storm in North Korea, I told him the next day,
“Mr.K…K…….Kim!!! The Tower of Juche Idea has collapsed!!”
Mr. Kim was very surprised and he ran to the window checking for the tower and that was very hilarious to me.

juche

(Tower of Juche Idea)

He always seemed pretty angry at those times always saying “not funny…”.
One day, I crossed the line.

In someplace, I found a lump of mud and poop mixed together, which seemed pretty much like a fine piece of artwork to me. I knew I had to deliver this to Mr. Kim, so I ran to him with the lump in my hand.

Mr. Kim obviously wasn’t pleased with my present, and he swore to me in Korean,

“You xxxxxxxx. I won’t let you go this time!!!”.

He was mad with me for a few days and I was very scared. After a while, he began to talk to me again.
For a while I was really worried.

I seem to have a habit of running into specific people, and end up getting into a lot of trouble as you see.
But I guess that’s the way I live! Haha

A few years after, I saw Mr. Kim on a newspaper and he was introduced as “ a model guide”. Either he reformed, or I guess his father was a man with power or what so ever.

I wonder how he is doing right now.

 

 

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Oh…he reconciled with me later so don’t worry.

He even took a picture with me.
Considering his circumstances, I can’t show you what he looks like.
I’m very sorry…Mr. Kim.

original text

Tour Guides From North Korea

A tour guide is definitely needed if you are visiting North Korea.

It’s said that they are watching us very carefully, but they are in fact really friendly if you get to know them better.

Let me introduce some of the guides I have met.

 

Mr. Lee (False name/ man on the left)

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I was moved by his hospitality and he was very kind.

He did everything for us but I put him in trouble just once.

 

When we were climbing a mountain, there was a beautiful river.

It was restricted to swim in it.

But I just had to do it.

I might not have a chance to visit North Korea again in my life, so we decided to swim.

A man in my team jumped in the river and started to swim.

 

The custodian ran up to Mr. Lee and shouted like hell.

Mr. Lee told the custodian that the man was just “taking a bath” and that he wasn’t swimming.

 

Later, Mr. Lee came back with a smile, and so I guess there were no problems.

 

By the way, Mr. Lee was a guy who kept his style of wearing leather shoes with a clutch bag, even when climbing a real steep mountain.

 

Ms. Chong (false name/ women on the right)

chonsan

She was a real great guide and she made all impossible things possible.

She’s probably the best of all guides I have met.

 

She could take us to restricted areas, and she would let us do what we wanted to.

 

She was so warm-hearted, she peeled an apple for me when I was sick in bed.

chonsan2

She was different from a practical North Korean lady, and she would probably win if she fought with Hilary Clintion.

 

She was also real open-minded and she would let us take pictures of her making funny faces.

 

The day after tomorrow, she would ask if she could check our cameras. We thought we might have taken a picture of something restricted….

But a few minutes later, she returned the camera to us saying that there were no problems.

 

Later, I checked my camera to see Ms. Chong’s funny pictures……but all of those photos were deleted…

My god.

 

Well, that was Ms. Tei. She always complained about how here husband doesn’t do his chores. I guess women at work carry the same problems all around the world.

 

Since she was a guide, she couldn’t go back home often, and so her daughter was always upset with her. One day, she texted her,  “I hate you mom”.Ms. Chong was real upset about this and that was the first time I recognized her as just a mother of a daughter.

 

Ms. Chong was promoted later so she’s not a guide anymore.

 

All of the guides were real nice people.

BUT

There was one legendary guide….and I will talk about him soon.