DMZ

Kaesong Travel Blog

 › entry 18 of 50 › view all entries
the theme of the day was the take a picture of him taking a picture of her taking a picture of....
K, so quick side note, I did not actually go into NK, but I could not find a city on travbuddy that is would accept to let me draw the arrow to the spot I went, I hate this damn system sometimes..

Anyway, so Friday night we had a little going away shindig for my buddy Jake. He's basically the best friend I've made here and now he's headin out. I think this kind of thing I will have to get used to. I have already lost three friends due to the end of the contract. Jake will return though after the summer for round 2 of the ROK. He was nice enough to let me hang on to his guitar and bicycle too, which I have been loving the hell out of. So, we hit the dreaded Itaewon area then bounced to Hongdae for a little hookah lounge action. Poor Jakypoo, got a little too tipsy and ended up outside by the end of the night while I lounged around with Mia, Minju and Shin.
tried to get the guard to pose...not havin it
..we wrapped the things up after the apple flavored hookah and headed out to find Jake alive and well bullshitting on some random couch on the side of the street with some other drunkards. Two of the ladies and myself headed to another early morning bar for another pitcher....

After a quick power nap, I was at the Seoul Station with a group of friends to head to the DMZ. Our great and fearless leader made us all get there by 8:30 and we didn't leave till 9:20am, needless to say I was bummed that I missed out on the extra 50 minutes of sleep. She, however, managed to be about 20 minutes late...it's as if she knew that we wouldn't be leaving right at 8:30 like the rest of us...hmmm

So the DMZ really left a lot to be desired, but it's one of those things you can't live in Korea for a year without doing so "afi," I went along for the ride.
After about 3 or 4 different transfers of buses and trains and security checkpoints we made it to the tunnel area. We got into a little roller coaster type cart and off we went at a drag-ass pace down into the tunnel. I swear you could see blood on the walls, whether it was real or deliberately placed there for effect I will never know and don't really care. We got off the cart and walked a bit further to the North Korean wall. This place was interesting and I have an even more interesting interpretation/observation about the whole damn thing. First, on the way down, you are bombarded with propaganda about NK and their lies about the use of the tunnel and how you can prove THEY made it and not the South. Once you unloaded from the cart you got off to the right to make a small little walk to the wall.
this is literally about to fall apart (a possible symbol to the fragile relationship shared)
Meanwhile the cart is reloaded from the left with the previous group to take them back to the entrance. The wall looked like something out of a Saw movie. You could see through window to the other side where there was a conveniently placed spot light shining on another dreary empty wall... I thought to myself, "Why the hell would North Korea care to put a spotlight on there side for tourists on the South side to be able to see in 20 ft into their side of the tunnel."- Things that make you go "hmmm"...The second we arrived back at the reloading point, the cart was unloading the next round of passengers to the right and we loaded to the left. We got back to the top and there was another group waiting for their turn...A timely cycle

Next we went to the observation tower.
This was another load of shit. We could pay 500Won (about $0.50) to look into a set of binoculars, to "view" North Korea. I took a picture of their flag flying high, but you can barely see it because of the clouds (it rained about 20minutes later). There was a yellow line about 10ft or 3m behind the wall. This was the point at which you were allowed to take pictures. If you crossed that line by foot's length to take a picture, the guard would take your camera and make you erase all of your pictures. I did not test my luck, despite how ridiculous I found this to be...

Next we went for lunch, where we sampled a few North Korean beers and some NK soju. I don't care what anyone says, that shit is 10x as good as the south's. First, it still sucks, but the South's really really sucks.
The north's just sucks....It's got some color to the beer and the soju has 4.5% more alcohol in it. So, we sat there and took care of the drinks while some of the group went to frollock in the freezing rain and ride bumper cars at the "Freedom Fair."

I made my way back to Itaewon, where I waited in the subway for about 15 minutes to meet a friend. Luckily, I had just went back to the bar where I left Jake's guitar from the night before. So I had something to entertain me besides checkin out all the hotties getting ready to get their Saturday night groove on. Azin, my new friend from Iran, went out for some delicious Indian food at Curry Town. We had an amazing conversation and cannot wait till the next time we can spend some time together.
tunnel entrance
As soon as I stood up and headed outside with her, I was slammed with a wave of exhaustion. We said bye and I took the next direct train home and crashed...A WELL deserved night of rest.

Sunday was the Lantern festival to celebrate Buddha's birthday. I met with a group of couchsurfers and we hung out and did the typical festival things?? Watched monks perform rituals, ate Sri Lankan grub, got a deep tissue massage from a yoga therapist, jump roped with some cops, watched a parade and then drank some beer. Lastly, we went for dinner. Our table included myself and two other Americans, 1 Canadian (who is my 1st guest to my apartment from couchsurfing), 2 Koreans, 1 Spaniard, 1 Malaysian, 1 Sri Lankan, 1 Korean/Chinese guy, 1 French guy and a couple from India.
guard at observatory


Work this week has been pretty groovy. The kids have midterms, so I don't do anything. Yesterday, I literally chatted online for 6 hours with some friends, played some online poker and took a nap...oh and basketball. Today, I played ball for an hour or so, snacked around a bit in the office, joked with the art teacher, then the head of the science department invited me to her home for lunch. The food was great and is was a joyous experience...my 2nd time in a Korean home. Her, her husband, the rest of the science department and myself ate some chicken/potato soup, pork, squid, rice and kimchi. Desert was a watermelon. Then she treated us to her pictures from her trip to India while we sipped on some coffee and had some (excuse the spelling) Karamasu...

Lookin forward to my little five day break this weekend....
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
the theme of the day was the take …
the theme of the day was the take…
tried to get the guard to pose...n…
tried to get the guard to pose...…
this is literally about to fall ap…
this is literally about to fall a…
tunnel entrance
tunnel entrance
guard at observatory
guard at observatory
the line of no crossing for pics
the line of no crossing for pics
thats North Korea..best I got, so…
that's North Korea..best I got, s…
security
security
Shawn
Shawn
errrr
errrr
ahhhh
ahhhh
gangsta
gangsta
haha
haha
:)
:)
Reminds me of the scene from No Re…
Reminds me of the scene from No R…
NK beer
NK beer
NK beer and soju
NK beer and soju
me NK beer and soju, notice the ba…
me NK beer and soju, notice the b…
Sri Lanka performance
Sri Lanka performance
Monk performance
Monk performance
a possible profile picture
a possible profile picture
my old shades
my old shades
my new shades
my new shades
now, from this angle it actually l…
now, from this angle it actually …
Kaesong
photo by: kkrater