The DMZeezy.

April 9, 2009

Last Saturday, my brother and I went on a little field trip to the DMZ, sponsored my the US Military. I didn’t know what I was expecting really, but I guess well, I didn’t expect it to be so much like Disneyland.

dscf1509I almost bought this shirt, but I (yes, even I) felt kind of bad about it.

Not to make light of a 50 year old conflict; obviously there has been lots of sadness and tragedy on both sides, but learning about it and going there, it just seems like a farce. It’s like, one side will put up a flagpole somewhere, and the other side will put up a bigger flagpole, and then someone will build a third story to a building, and the other side will build a taller third story to their building, and so forth and so on. Or, once, the South wanted to cut down a tree that was obscuring their view of another checkpoint, leading them to try to cut down the poplar tree, causing the North Koreans to kill a couple people with axes. This in turn leads to a full show of military force, carrier support, and a whole shitload of weapons being used to protect the cutting down of this tree and an almost war (part II). The whole thing is really a farce with consequences; which maybe is a tragedy in itself.

Anyway, the first part of the tour included a view from an observation point, where we could look through viewfinders at North Korea, as if we were at the top of some tall building, overlooking a view of a city, but instead of a city, it was just brown bleakness. And since it was hazy, it was difficult to see anything at all:


I was starting to think that the DMZ was one of those places where saying I went there was cooler than actually being there. But as the tour went on, it didn’t really disappoint. Apparently, those North Koreans back in the 70’s were digging underground tunnels to invade South Korea, that were discovered a few km to Seoul. We actually got to go down one and it was pretty awesome, but we weren’t allowed to take pictures… though it did look like kinda like waiting in line at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad:

big_thunder_2002But without so many goofy looking white people.

Next was the Joint Security Area, where we got the stare down by some North Korean soldiers through binoculars… it was cool, I admit it. It must be odd to look at someone all day and know that you could never talk to them.


Though, you know, it seemed like a big “fuck you communism!” to me. I mean, what better revenge is there than to treat the area as a tourist destination? It’s so, so capitalist and right next door to the only area of the world where the Cold War is relevant. It’s kind of… I don’t know how I feel about it exactly. It doesn’t give me an “America! (or South Korea) Fuck Yeah!” feeling, but I can’t say I’m really against it either (especially since I went on the tour). And yes, there is a gift store:


Anyway, that’s my whole DMZ experience. Having my bro over was cool, by the way. And Aaron is over this week too (but he’s in Busan, enjoying fresh air and all that uh, Busanyness while I’m at work). Went to Namsan Tower on Sunday, was exhausted going up so many stairs. Luckily there were churros (and uh, a nice view) at the top of that mountain.


One comment

  1. […] The DMZeezy: April 9, 2009 – So this one time my brother and I went to the DMZ, saw North Korea, and felt like were in […]

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