It was beginning to get dark when the military parade started in the streets of Pyongyang.
The loud cheers of the locals filled the event whenever the military tanks and trucks passed by. Every local I saw was genuinely happy, waving his or her handmade artificial flowers in the air as a sign of support to the military. Meanwhile I was on the right side of the street together with all the other foreigners. Our location was farther from where the locals were and because of that they had a better view of the military parade than us.
I was having a hard time getting decent pictures from where we stood when I thought of running to the left side. I knew that the police would most likely blow their whistles once they see me running to the other side given that it was only for the locals, but that didn’t faze me. So I bent down, took a deep breath, and ran hastily to the other side hoping that the police wouldn’t notice me. I passed by several police and they never called my attention. “My plan is working! I’m a ninja!”
Moments later, a policeman blew his whistle. I looked behind for a second and saw him waving his hand telling me to go back to the right side. I immediately turned my back against him as if I didn’t see him and tried to blend in with the locals so he wouldn’t notice me. When I realized I was already in the middle of the local crowd, they were all looking at me. I smiled and the old ladies smiled back before they went back to their chanting of “Gomapseumnida” (which means – thank you.). This was an amazing experience as you can sincerely feel their love and support for their military.
From Pyongyang With Love.
It was my last day in North Korea and we had an early breakfast because all of us were in a hurry so we wouldn’t miss the train back to Dandong, China. I bought postcards from the hotel and mailed them to a few family and friends. I also went ahead and wrote a message to my future self through a postcard, but a few weeks had passed and the postcard had not yet arrived. As I got home from another thrilling travel adventure, I saw a postcard on our dining table (It had just come the day after). The card made me smile and teary-eyed when I read what I wrote to myself while I was in North Korea.