Friday, November 4, 2011

Tour to the North Korea border...


So I found out today that Koreans believe that if you turn on the heat (inside house/car) that it makes you age faster.  Which brings me to my next point, they looove the heater.  So next time someone tells me that, I'm going to say "Man, that explains all your wrinkles" :P

Things in Korea are good, kind of strange actually.  It has reached a record high in the past 10 YEARS.  It is the end of November 4th today and it reached over 70!  This time last year it was like 40.  I'm telling you weather around the world is just completely out of whack.  Though, I am not complaining.  It just seems odd that the leaves completely changed colors and are now losing their leaves but the weather so does not reflect that.  Hmmm.

So I have been meaning to post this for a while now.  A few months ago Mike and his company escorted some new junior Congressman from the states to the DMZ (Demilitarized  Military Zone) between North & South Korea.  I still haven't gone (I know, I know, how "un-tourist" like of me.  But hey, I figure I have 2 more years!).  Any who, he got some great pictures.  A little fun fact is every man in Korea is required to serve a minimum of 2 years in Korea either right after high-school graduation, during college, or after college.  This is actually one of the stations that you can get.  NO THANKS.

Something really interesting about this picture is if you see the guy that has his back to us, he is South Korean.  He has to stand exactly half way between the building in case the North Korean soldiers decide to shoot.   Crazy right?!  The 2 blue buildings are the UN buildings where meetings between the 2 divisions are conducted.  

This is the tunnel that could once go into North Korea but obviously you can't anymore.  It looks tall but you'd actually have to bend half way all the way down.  Which that position is about 90% of old Koreans because of them carrying rice on their backs back when Korea wasn't so well off.

One of the other really amusing things about his whole experience was if you look closely, same with the other picture, you can see NORTH Korean tourists taking a tour of the South Korea line.  To top it off, it was an elementary school field trip!!!  Mike said it was so awkward :o)

Such a beautiful country!  Just a shame that they can't be civil.  If you look closely, you'll see like a tall looking pole in the middle of the picture.  There is this guy that is offering like 10 million dollars (maybe more, I forgot) if you get a piece of the North Korean flag that is at the top of that pole.  THE TRICK IS, you take one step past the line & you are dead.  So, that doesn't make much sense lol!

This is called the "Bridge of no Return".  And...they mean literally no return :)  You will walk right into somewhere aren't supposed to be.  Actually and interesting story.  A South Korean was trimming a tree & I guess got to close to the line of the North Koreans comfort so they bludgeoned him to death.  So sad :(  There is a small memorial there for him.

You actually can't bring children under the age of 12 I think to the DMZ tour because of fear that North Koreans will take a child running and gesturing motions the wrong way.  The tour is fun but very much composed and structured.  

I hope you all are staying safe & healthy in the states.  We love & miss you all!!