t s a o y i d i   | 
democratic people's republic of korea

jun. 23 - 26, 2014

i went to dandong, the border city between china and north korea and joined a tour there where almost all the other fellow tourists were in their 50s.
the train we took passed across amnok river, on the rail bridge constructed by the imperial japanese army between april 1937 and may 1943, during their occupation of korea and northeast china.
the train ride went by fast, while we were in awe and excitement. we could see that we were approaching the other bank where a lonely roller coaster stood.
"it's there just to show that they could build amusement parks and their people are having fun with their life. they hire people to play in there", said someone in a loud and convincing voice.
soon we arrived at the border check which easily squeezed almost half a day away from the 4-day tour.
i was reading a book in english that i had in hand when the officer took interest in me and asked what i was reading. it turned out that he studied french himself in the university and we managed to hold a small conversation in simple french. he was curious and obviously open minded.
a boring job it is as a border police, while it might well also be the most exciting one for them who aspired to reach the outside world.
they went through every passenger's belongs as they had to mark down every telecommunication device we had brought with us to make sure that we don't leave any of them behind.
after all the hassel and a friendly farewell with my lovely border office, the train moved further along the railway arriving at the central station in pyongyang.