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