Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Last week Charlie and I went to North Korea... But didn't go in.
I really want to write a proper post but doubt I will.
Suffice to say it was one of the feckin weirdest days of my life, where parody was overlaid with irony all wrapped up in some old-skool propaganda. It's hard to imagine a more ridiculous situation, let alone a way I could feel good about paying US$40 for the experience.
Things I 'learnt' about on the tour - hosted by the USO ::
  • The North are the baddies;
  • We are free and safe in ROK;
  • The North engage in brainwashing;
  • PowerPoint presentations need to be timed perfectly;
  • My illegible signature written in pencil is worthy;
  • The North Koreans hack people to death with axes;
  • There are North Koreans working in factories owned by South Koreans;
  • In the very near future Korea will be reunified and the DMZ will be the bestest nature reserve.
  • Oh, and this I found just now by accident. Erm?

Ok, and the FTA. At the moment ROK and their friends the USA are negotiating a Free Trade Agreement. Remember when Australia did the same? So I've seen anti-FTA protesters on the TV, but also protesters in my suburb. They had an amplifier and about 4 smartly-dressed people handing out well-produced fliers to passers-by. If only I could read it. Instead I looked at the cartoons, which showed a fat exploitative USA ripping apart ROK. Anyways, need to learn more on this cos I think it will be the topic for my next lesson with my boss' husband, Eric.

We had our first meeting tonight - at the Korean version of McDonald's, Lotteria. Didn't buy any food but just sat upstairs and talked. It's gonna be hard. His English is very very good - he has a senior position in a big (evil) multinational and does ALL his written work in English. Just wants to be able to argue his case to his CEO and field questions after his budget PowerPoints with aplomb. He came prepared with a topic - 9-11. Great. So I pressed him on the Korean attitudes on related topics such as: compulsory voting; risk management; invisible hands; single-term presidents; etc.

Spoke to JC and Dad today, which was excellent...
Of course I miss Charlie, but the sweet love is making the separation easier to bear (not easy).
And of course I'll get on top of my emails soon.
And Britters had a baby! Again! She's a machine!


mskp said...

Lotteria offers 14 different kinds of burgers for sale: Chun-Cheon Chicken Rib Burger, Cheong-Yang Chilly Pepper Burger, European Frico Cheese Burger, Paprika Bacon Beef Burger, Kimchi Burger, Korean Beef Bulgogi Burger, Burning Squid Burger, Shrimp Burger, Bulgalbi Burger, Bulgogi Burger, Chicken Burger, Cheese Burger, Rib Sandwich, Deriyaki Burger.


kiki said...

do you think that the article you put up there was actually written by a north korean defect??

i'm curious and unconvinced

kiki said...

this is getting wierder and weirder dude...

my dad OWNS Nillumbik medical center...

my surname (and his by chance) is Berry. so if your Doc is Dr Berry, then this is wierd. if it's one of the others, i still know them

Bonnie Conquest said...

I know Berry.
But he's the one I least see.
Debenham since I was a kid, Mason through my teens and now Royce.

But now I dunno if I know you.
Methinks you didn't go to my high school.

kiki said...

i know jenny andrew and caroline

no, i'm certain i didn't go to your high school
i went to an all boys school... (not parade)

Bonnie Conquest said...

Kiki - Whitefriars? And - I dunno how I'm to figure out whether it's genuine or not, but so far the intermenet says yes. Hmm. Perhaps at the least, the USA thought he was for real.

kiki said...

don't believe what the USA does...

Bonnie Conquest said...

Well, duh. But that's who he testified to. So they'e the ones with the juice on him.