Archive for February, 2014
By Mike on February 27, 2014The recipe for a great and enlightening trip to North Korea is pretty simple. Just follow the rules, which are not unreasonable in exchange for a glimpse into their world for a few days. The rules are of course quite unreasonable if you have to live there. But that’s what I went to see and if things you and I consider crazy weren’t going on there, I wouldn’t have had the curiosity to go. When I’ve recounted a story or two about some of the constraints we were under, a few friends have said to me, “Well, I would have said this, or I would have just reacted like that….” and yes, it constantly crossed my mind to push the boundaries, but philosophical contention would have just shut down our minders, made them feel defensive and less likely to be open with us. After all, since we did not speak Korean and we could not go anywhere outside the hotel without our minders, we were dependent upon them for much of our experience there. No doubt it was limited, but it would have been counter-productive to limit it even more by being a contrarian. My advice? Just roll with it. You’ll have a more enriching experience and doing otherwise isn’t going to change anything except potentially your departure date.