North Korea: Museums & Bookstores
Pretty much anywhere you go or visit in North Korea, there is a museum of some arts and crafts that you end up at a gift shop full of things that North Koreans think tourist need and buy – like a pottery workshop or an embroidery museum (embroidery is truly stunning here – looking like paintings). Then there are stamps – whole museums and libraries of stamps – capturing every moment of Korean life and their leaders (I did end up buying loads and loads of awesome stamps). There also bookstores dedicated to all the speeches by the great/dear/respected leaders and volumes on the theory of Juche ideology. I even found two botanical books dedicated to the two flower species that were specifically cultivated and designed for Korean leaders and named after them – Kimilsungia (a beautiful orchid) and Kimjongilia (a petunia of some sort). And finally – there are DVDs! The titles pretty much speak for themselves. A must watch – “The Fatherland Liberation War” in 6 parts! Or how about the romantic comedy “The First Year After The Wedding”? (I think the sequels of the next few post-wedding years are in the making, could be dramas or tragedies). Then there is “A Traffic Controller on The Crossroads” (haven’t seen but it could be NC-17 rated). “Case Closed” – must be a North Korean version of Law & Order. A captivating “When We Pick Apples” is also a must see, it’s gripping! And don’t forget about the young audience – a Finding-Nemo ripoff “The Scolchi Brothers” and beloved and educational “A Pig Drinks Tonic” and “Two Friends Drink Mineral Water”. Enjoy!