Questionable Miso Soup

Reposted from Drafts on October 30, 2019

I’m getting very close to launching the store, I think. I’ve got one solid mug design and I’ve seen some mock-ups that look good, so that’s a start, and I have a couple more ideas in the works. Now I just need to set up the store and lock in a supplier.

It’s exciting for me, but also terrifying. I might start advertising, or hanging around street corners with a sandwich board and a megaphone. And I’m going to have to jack up the quality of the blog too, because lets be honest, everything I write is nonsense.

EDIT (30-10-19): Ended up doing none of that. Ditched the mug idea because I didn’t want to sell cheap stuff made in China by slaves.

I’ve found that sushi is a lot less enjoyable as a vegetarian. I still love it, because even the veggie rolls are good, but there’s no alternative to sashimi. Raw fish is really good and of all the things I’ve given up I think sushi and pho are the only ones I really miss.

Also, it’d be nice to have more options than veggie burgers when I’m out with friends. Having said that, some places do really good veggie burgers. Steamworks, for instance, does a great quinoa burger, and St. Augustine’s does a great veggie-patty.

EDIT (30-10-19): I pretty much only go out to vegan restaurants now and I love it. The Steamworks burger was NOT vegan at the time and probably still isn’t. Restaurants like East is East and Shizenya are pretty good for vegans even though they serve meat.

While I’m at it, Meet in Gastown does some really cool vegan stuff too, but it’s all vegan, and I think that catches some people by surprise. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to get into the fake-cheese mac and cheese, because I just don’t think cashew ‘cheez’ or nutritional yeast concoctions can replace the real thing. But it’s a good try.

EDIT (30-10-19): Ended up working at Meet in Yaletown for almost two years and it turns out I actually loved the mac and cheese there. Too much. Meet is vegan but is definitely not a health food store.

The trick with being a vegetarian is to realize that you can’t just substitute everything with ‘alternatives’, you have to eat different stuff. There are so many tofu, soy, or ‘veggie’ fake-meats that it might feel like you don’t have to change your diet at all. You’ve got to dive into grains, explore the world of curries, high protein vegetables, nuts and seeds, and tofu as well.

It’s kind of like how you can’t expect sweet potatoes to be able to do the same things as regular potatoes, like make tasty hashbrowns. You have to play to a food’s strength, as I found out, when I kept setting up my sweet-potato-pan-fries to fail.

Bandidas is another good vegetarian spot. I went for the first time today and had the mexican breakfast. It’s a cool spot, and the water comes in mason jars which I really like, but I understand that some people see the mason-jar thing as a big hip stereotype. Well, I like it and it works. I’m just a simple and hip man, I suppose. It’s on Commercial and the burritos are huge.

EDIT (30-10-19): Not psyched on Bandidas’ vegan options, but other vegans I know love it.

I like Commercial Drive a lot, and I hope it doesn’t get transformed into a sterile yuppie nightmare. There aren’t a lot of places in Vancouver that have an alternative feel like the drive. Everything there is small, it seems very inclusive (but I’m not the person to decide which areas are inclusive. Unfortunately, I probably wouldn’t realize it if it wasn’t), and it’s got a down-to-earth sensibility. I’m curious to see what happens around there development-wise.

On Days Where You Eat A Lot of Bread

Reposted from Drafts on October 30, 2019

I think it was yesterday that I explored the fact that I generally only write in the morning, and if I wrote in the evening I’d probably talk a lot less about my breakfast. It’s the evening now and so far I’ve been staring at the blank page for a good half hour. But I didn’t once consider writing about my breakfast. So there you have it.

Master of None is officially my favourite show. I burned through season two in a couple days and LOVED it. Season one was the best thing to happen to Netflix and maybe humanity ever, and season two is a thousand times better. I was so inspired by it that I spent a good hour earlier today watching Aziz on different talk shows.

He does a bit with Fallon where they read bad Yelp reviews (Aziz doing the business owner, and Jimmy doing the customer) which is pretty good. They also do one where they read bad romantic texts, those are good but also very sad.

Why do so many late night shows have a guy off to the side that just kind of chimes in here and there, basically like a hype man? Stephen Colbert has Jon Batiste and he just laughs and says stupid little nonsense from off camera. Musically he’s fantastic though.

The one Fallon has is actually pretty funny though. He has some good moments. I’d recommend “Hashtags: #MomQuotes”. It’s worth a watch. (Can’t believe I’m recommending YouTube clips from late night TV now).

I think I might introduce a fiction component to the website. I have a lot of stupid ideas for stories and I usually don’t ever do anything with them (and that’s when they even make it out of my mind and into a word document). I remember when I first started the blog years ago and I had two other ‘writers’: Esmeraldo, the surfer-poet in Santa Monica, and Mac Shekoda, a journalist from the future.

I had a lot of fun with those, and when I was living in Australia I even used the blog as a writing sample for a couple journalist jobs (looking back I can’t figure out why I would’ve thought that was a good idea).

Anyway, it may have been a phone interview, I can’t remember, but I guess because I’m such a phenomenal character-creator the hiring-person reading my website thought that there actually were three writers at the website.

She gave me the weirdest sigh when I said that all three were me. I guess it’s no surprise I didn’t end up with the job.

I wonder what happened to the people who got the job instead of me, not just in that scenario, but all of them. Was I meant to be where I am right now, doing what I’m doing? Or did I just not try hard enough? Was I doomed from the start? These are some existential questions I’ll always think about, but they’re not productive.

EDIT (30-10-19): Don’t try to predict the future, don’t dwell on the past. I had no idea where I was going when I wrote this post (still don’t), but things have dramatically changed for me and it’s been an incredible ride. Don’t sweat the small things, believe in yourself, and go out and get what you want.

It’d be interesting to see how those people are doing though. Are they still working in the radio stations that I applied to? The people who had a bit more experience and always edged me out, the college grad. Do they like it?

In the end, thinking about that is kind of a waste of time though, isn’t it?


Reposted from Drafts on October 30, 2019

Is Uber dehumanizing? I’ve been thinking a lot about the ride sharing apps lately. I’ve never taken one, but from what I understand people ‘take an uber’ like they’d ‘take a cab’ and, maybe I’m crazy, but it seems weird to me.

Maybe it isn’t, I’m probably overthinking it.

It’s just that with a cab there’s a certain fairness to linking the driver with the car, it’s his profession (or her, though I don’t think I’ve ever been in a cab where it wasn’t a guy driving), it’s bright yellow, it’s a whole thing. With an Uber it’s a regular person, it’s generally not their full-time job (I think), and it’s their own car. But what else would you say besides ‘take an uber’? I don’t know.

My beef with the company (and Lyft too, I guess?) is that it feels like a new form of subjugation. I like ride sharing, and I think that allowing anyone to give rides and be compensated for it is a great idea, but I don’t like the idea of an American company just making money hand over fist on the backs of local drivers, while at the same time threatening the livelihoods of all the cab drivers.

Is our taxi-system shitty? Yeah, I’d say. It’s too expensive, there was that issue where cabs were refusing to go to North Van from downtown for a while (maybe still?), whenever you need one it feels like there aren’t enough, and I imagine that’s just the beginning. Honestly, the whole taxi industry has done a great job of making itself incredibly unlikable, and without government protection they’d be really hurting right now.

EDIT (30-10-19): According to anecdotal reviews from Reddit’s r/vancouver, the cab industry is worse than ever.

There must be a solution in the middle, something to phase out taxi drivers, compensating them for the amount they may have invested in their licenses, and installing a ride sharing system that benefits everyone. Taxis are the only ones equipped to take wheelchairs, for example. Some guy’s 2015 civic probably doesn’t have a lift. We’ll still need a service that caters to people with mobility issues. Also taxi drivers, though it may not seem like it, are more accountable. There’s more than just a rating system and a powerpoint presentation behind their jobs.

All the companies do is link drivers with people who need rides. They don’t support the drivers at all, and while people seem to like it as a part time thing, it doesn’t work out full time (from some articles I’ve read, hardly a reasonable sample size). Uber takes 20% of the fare, and your driver pays for gas, repairs, and other incidentals (like cleaning). I guess my question would be, is 20% a reasonable amount for them to take? If other apps joined the market and started undercutting Uber and Lyft would that help? Or would the money just come from the drivers at the end of the day?

EDIT (30-10-19): I’d actually like to really get into this post, because I didn’t use a lot of research. Here’s a post that says that Uber claims to take 25% as a fee, but actually takes more and that drivers are being compensated less over time. Hopefully I’ll be able to expand on this soon (especially as BC opens itself up to ridesharing). Also, I don’t think I’ve mentioned the fact that cities with ridesharing see increased congestion. More cars on the road means more pollution.

Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is that I think we can be a little quick to embrace new technologies like Uber without thinking of the real costs. Letting ride sharing entrench itself in Vancouver without seriously considering the ramifications (the 20% of every ride heading straight to Silicon-freaking-Valley or wherever Uber is headquartered for instance) would be irresponsible. It’s clear we need a better system than the taxi-reliant one we have, but I don’t think it’s as easy as opening the gates to an American app. It’s just zeroes and ones!

Done With Sweet Potato

Reposted from Drafts on October 30, 2019

I think I’ve figured out the formula for getting into a new band. People always recommend great music to me and I’ll listen to a few songs, decide it isn’t for me, and then I’ll hear a banger from the artist later (maybe months later) and all of a sudden I’m stealing whole discographies off the internet.

Right now I’m on a big Portugal. The Man kick. A friend of mine showed me some of his music ages ago, like circa 2016, but I didn’t really like it. The other day I heard Feel it Still, from his yet to be released album Woodstock. Now I’m listening to all of his stuff, and it’s a bonus that his music videos are weird.

I had another friend recommend Chicano Batman not too long ago and it was Black Lipstick that got me into them. They’re sick, and the album Cycles of Existential Rhyme is good. It’s groovy. It’s existential. I should be getting paid for these plugs!

Another banger I’ve had on replay lately is L’Appuntamento by Ornella Vanoni. I think it’s Italian. It’s one of the songs on the soundtrack to Ocean’s 12 (I think, I love all three of those movies so much it’s possible it’s from a different one, but I’m pretty sure it’s from 12 because that’s the one where they’re in Europe. Makes sense, right?). I haven’t explored much of the Vanoni back catalogue yet, but L’Appuntamento is a delightful track. I’ll have to find out what she’s saying.

I finished the stupid sweet potato that I bought last week or the week before. It’s been a nightmare every morning. I’m used to delicious red potatoes from PEI or wherever, and for reasons I can only attribute to ignorance, food-trends, malevolent interference from the spiritual plane, or something else, I bought some freaking sweet potatoes and have had to eat them.

It got so bad that I’ve had oatmeal three times this week because I couldn’t bring myself to take the thing out of the fridge. Part of me believed that if I pretended it wasn’t there, it would disappear.

2017 is a year for bold statements, and I’m coming out hard against sweet potatoes, yams, and all derivatives. Yam fries are a waste of menu space. 0/10.

I’m just realizing that since I normally write these while I’m making/eating breakfast I talk about it a lot. I wonder what these would sound like if I only did them in the evening.

I have a pretty regular morning routine, I play Duolingo for a bit (it says I’m 25% fluent in Spanish but that can’t be right), make breakfast, and write a blog post. On the weekends sometimes I let the blogging slip a little because I work.

It would be cool if the Russian lessons on Duolingo had a fluency metre as well, but it would probably say 0% fluent no matter how much of the course you’d done. The sentence structure in Russian is completely different, and it’s a case language, so depending on how a word is used (subject, object, location, etc…) the ending changes. And there are so many exceptions. It’s tough.

Русский- сложный язык.

For the Benefit of

Reposted from Drafts on October 30, 2019

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about the minimum income idea lately. The idea, at its most basic, is that everyone should be guaranteed a certain income which allows for a reasonable life. Or something like that. There are tons of different ways of getting to it, but I want to talk about me not ideas.

I am particularly in love with the minimum income because I don’t like working and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to want to spend every one of my days doing whatever I want. (This is the point where I realize that if anyone looking to employ me one day reads this they might find it a MASSIVE turn-off). 

Honestly, I think my attitude is the big argument against a minimum income. It seems that people feel like everyone should be forced to work, that it’s a requirement for life until you can earn yourself out of it. It’s part of the American dream, that we’ve internalized here in Canada as well, that if you work hard at a job you’ll be happy or fulfilled or something. The job doesn’t matter.

And I don’t even dislike my job. I’m very happy with what I do. I’m reasonably compensated, I have some of the best coworkers I’ve ever had in my life, and they don’t seem upset that I want to work part time.

Quick sidebar: Master of None, Aziz Ansari’s Netflix show, is back for season two. I think it’s one of the greatest shows ever, and I tried to quit TV earlier this week, but I didn’t know this was coming back!

Anyway, in the beginning of episode three in a flashback, Dev (Ansari’s character) is eating bacon at a friend’s house. His parents are Muslim and he’s never had it! Anyway, watching a young kid eat bacon while Tupac’s Only God Can Judge Me plays is the greatest thing ever.

I was trying so hard to quit TV too. But I did get a little sick earlier in the week and watched like six hours of How I Met Your Mother. So I wasn’t really being good about it. I guess it’s better than smoking.

Anyway, back to the minimum income. I think we need to get away from the idea that people are inherently lazy and need to be held in a state of poverty to encourage them to provide their labour at low wages in shitty jobs.

I mean, that’s a little reductive I guess, but I think the important points are there. What would a world look like if no one had to work to live?

But, it’s a stupid dream, isn’t it? Because I can take risks and work hard and try to fit myself into the system as it is, but I can’t force the system to conform to my ideas, right?

Anyway, as a quick summary, I’d like to not work and just write BS on my blog, maybe learn how to make mugs and play Duolingo a little. That’s the dream right?


Reposted from Drafts on October 30, 2019

Tuesdays seem to go so slow
Ad breaks on the radio

Two eggs, coffee
Fried potato

Steel-toed boots in the
Heavy Snow

(I used to love writing stupid poetry like this on the last blog, unfortunately and mostly due to my own ignorance I lost all of it, but this is a rewrite of my favourite).

The Mushrooms Betrayed Me

Reposted from Drafts on October 30, 2019

After yesterday’s disaster of a breakfast, today I decided I’d just get a couple muffins and a cup of coffee from a cafe by my place. I guess by 11:30 all the muffins were sold out? I ended up with a couple cookies, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Yesterday the mushrooms betrayed me. I mean, it was either that or I got food poisoning at Pacific Poke, and I had the veggie bowl, so I find it hard to believe that I got sick from that. The mushrooms, on the other hand, were incredibly questionable. Or maybe it was too much nutritional yeast. I don’t know the culprit, but I still feel a little off.

But seriously, how can the cafe be out of muffins already? It wasn’t even noon. Do they not have muffins at all on Thursdays? I was psyched, their muffins are huge and I was going to get a chocolate one and a blueberry one.

Now I’m still hungry.

We’ve had a little issue with our kitchen sink leaking and yesterday the landlord came by to take a look at it. She was here for around fifteen minutes before she turns to me and says, ‘What’s your name?’

I’ve lived here for almost two years, so I say, ‘What do you mean?’

And she looks at me like I’m an idiot. ‘WHAT DO I CALL YOU?’

Now, she’s pretty old (I think she’s mid-seventies) so I figured she was just starting to lose her mind a little bit, so I say, ‘I’m Mark.’ And finally she smiles, points to herself and says, ‘Anna.’

‘ANNA! I know your name. I’ve lived here for almost two years! I’m Mark!’ I say, and she doesn’t believe me.

To be fair, I did grow a pretty long beard and I used to be a little larger, but I had to convince her that I was the same person. When she finally realized it, she put her arms out by her sides and waddled a bit, like an impression of a fat guy, and she kept shaking her head saying long ‘noooooo’s.’ It kind of felt like a compliment, because I have lost a bit of weight, but she did the impression for a long time. I had to just keep nodding and saying, ‘Yeah, Anna, that’s me. Same person.’

Then she said, ‘But you’re handsome.’ Like I wasn’t a hot piece of ass before as well.

There’s a bit of a language barrier, because Anna’s English is rudimentary, and my Cantonese is non-existent (though I think I can count to 10 in Mandarin), but it’s always fun talking to her because she’s so lively and when she doesn’t understand what I’m saying she just laughs and nods. She’s also incredibly considerate, always giving us food and unnecessary furniture–except for the drying rack which is infinitely better than the dollar-store garbage that we had before.

Long story short, I’m pretty lucky to live where I am.

Now it’s pouring rain outside and I’m trying to decide if it’s worth the $2.1 to take the train downtown and read in a cafe and then probably get some Thai Express. Little known fact, Thai Express does the best tofu of all food-court-style Asian noodle places. I’ve done my own somewhat extensive, but casual research.

I miss my uPass.

Democratic Hangover

Reposted from Drafts on October 30, 2019

I stayed up late watching the votes come in last night, and as the talking heads on Global pointed out over and over again, it was the closest race we’ve had for a long time. The last time BC was ruled by a minority government was in the 1950s and, barring any swings in some of the closer ridings, we could be in for a short term for the Liberals this time around.

The BC Greens didn’t win my riding, unfortunately. It was a fairly safe Liberal seat, and has been for some time. They tripled their seats though, leaving the Liberals with the most seats (43), the NDP next (41), and the Greens holding the balance (3) which should get them some significant concessions from the Liberals (fingers crossed).

Voter turnout was abysmal. Less than 60% of eligible voters cast a ballot.

I don’t want to get too into it, but I wanted to give this little recap from my perspective.

I made the worst omelette this morning. It had mushrooms, green pepper and spinach, and then I added nutritional yeast. But I didn’t just add an appropriate amount of yeast, I dumped far too much into one small part of the omelette and couldn’t spread it out. I just finished it and I think I might cry it was so awful.

EDIT (30-10-19): As a vegan I do not endorse my prior behaviour.

I haven’t managed to find a good use for nutritional yeast yet. I’ve only tried a couple recipes so far, but none of them tasted better than okay. I think part of the problem is I’ve been using recipes that call for yeast as a substitute for cheese. You can’t replace cheese! It’s irreplaceable.

EDIT (30-10-19): Again, this is very much untrue. Check out Blue Heron cheese on Main, go to Virtuous Pie, check out the selection at Vegan Supply. There are tons of delicious plant-based cheeses.

I think one of the important things to realize if you’re a vegetarian is that you have to change the things you eat. You can’t just use meat substitutes and expect life to go on.

Meat substitutes suck.

EDIT (30-10-19): Again, I still agree with the sentiment that you shouldn’t focus on meat substitutes. HOWEVER, they can be a good transitional food for people trying to cut down their meat consumption. And they’re starting to taste very real.

I mean, they have their place. Like, I’ll be the first one to scarf down a baker’s dozen of tofu dogs but it’s because I respect the medium. The hot dog format is one that I love, and I’m not going to let my personal choices get in the way from enjoying culinary perfection. And veggie dogs aren’t that bad.

Most of the meat-substitutes seem to be soy based as well, and I don’t know the science, but I don’t think it’s good to be eating too much soy. I love tofu, but I don’t get all my protein from it.

EDIT (30-10-19): It’s not good to eat anything in excess.

Oh, have you tried veggie ground though? It’s like vegan ground beef. That’s a good substitute for meat. I bought a small pack of it yesterday for $3.5 and I think it’s around 320g. Hopefully those numbers make sense, I’m going off the top of my head.

It feels like the mushrooms are punishing me right now for what I said earlier. My stomach is making some weird noises and it feels like there’s some plotting going on. I didn’t mean it mushrooms!

Overall, I’m a pretty bad vegetarian. I ate a lot of meat when I was in Asia, and I have had some questionable miso soups since I got back (is it fake crab that they put in it? don’t tell me, I don’t want to know). I’m working on it though.

Election Day 2017

Reposted from Drafts on October 30, 2019

I can’t imagine a lot will change for me if we see a new government elected this evening. My job won’t change, my rent won’t change, my cost of living probably won’t change. I don’t envy people who watch these elections knowing that the difference in leadership may seriously affect their livelihoods.

The BC Greens are the best option, in my opinion. I haven’t combed through the platforms and I’ve tried to avoid reading articles about any of the parties (because I think it’s all bullshit), but I watched the debate and was really impressed with Andrew Weaver. It worked almost as a process of elimination, I can’t vote BC Liberal, and I don’t like the NDP this time around. John Horgan seems like an asshole and I don’t trust his connections to some big unions (and I really like unions).

Ultimately, none of the parties come anywhere near promising the BC that I want to see. I don’t want LNG, Site C, any oil extraction or pipelines, and I feel like all natural resource extraction should be nationalized. To me it seems crazy to give up the province’s rich resources to private companies for a royalty. Especially when we (the people) are left with the cleanup when the projects are over or when the projects leak. Also, could we please start considering Indigenous communities in these decisions. The government pays them lip service every time they want to appropriate some land and it’s just a joke.

If I was in charge, all resource extraction would be done by crown corporations. We don’t need to incentivize these industries when we can do it ourselves. At the same time we should encourage businesses that rely on people to set up shop. Things like film and tech can benefit from the wealth of talent in BC. They’re the international companies we want.

Also, we should embrace ride sharing, but I don’t see why we can’t do that ourselves too. I can’t imagine it’s that hard to create an app, and if it was run through the province we could pay the drivers more and the profit the app generated could help buy back the taxi tickets (or whatever is making it so hard to move taxi drivers into the 21st century). Then once that was sorted you have a nice little revenue stream that could be used to fund public transport for people with mobility issues, or whatever.

EDIT (30-10-19): My feelings on ridesharing have changed somewhat. I still think that if we have to have ridesharing we should do it ourselves. There are cities where this has worked like Austin, Texas.

I don’t think private schools should get public funding. If they want to run a business, they should run a business. Education is one of the most important things the government does, it’s not good enough to let the free market handle it. Because the free market is bullshit and if people want to send their kids to private schools, that’s great, but while our public infrastructure is suffering these companies shouldn’t be subsidized.

EDIT (30-10-19): I may actually be changing my mind a little on this as well. Private schools are funded at 50% per student compared to public schools. If all private schools were to lose funding many would close down and all those kids would be moved into the public school system, drastically increasing the costs of public schools. As a taxpayer, I’m willing to shell out for that, but I’m afraid that it would ultimately end up harming the teachers and students in public schools in the short-term and that isn’t fair.

The province should start looking into a basic minimum income too. We have too much poverty for such a rich province. For all the focus that politicians put on the economy, it doesn’t seem to be helping average people all that much. I’d love to see a government committed to ending poverty. I think a good place to start would be increasing access to mental health and addiction treatment. Decentralizing treatment away from the DTES could help soften the burden on that part of the city too.

I’d probably run the province a lot differently than Weaver, Horgan, or Clark, but keep in mind that I don’t know what I’m talking about.


Transportation and Urban Development

Reposted from Drafts on October 30, 2019

One of my favourite things about where I live is that if I leave the windows open I can hear the skytrain going past. My place is really close to Joyce-Collingwood Station and I’ve lived here for almost two years now. I’m a big fan of East Van, and though I’m not in one of the cooler parts of it, I’m pretty happy around here.

There’s a pizza place called Super Great Pizza across from the station. I think it’s been here forever and I love it. The name is enough. All the places around Joyce are interesting, like the Bamboo Cafe. I’ve never eaten there, but they have a deal on Pabst cans if you’re into that, and the coffee’s pretty good. I’m also a big fan of their big muffins.

EDIT (30-10-19): It’s been just over a year since I moved out of Joyce-Collingwood. I’m not sure if Super Great Pizza is still there, but the Bamboo Cafe has since closed down. In its place is a joint called “Milk and Sugar BBQ Bar.” Sounds gross. 

I’ve always loved trains. There’s something romantic about rail-travel, maybe I get that from old movies. Compared to flying, which is such a utilitarian way of getting around, train-travel has a certain something to it. I’m trying to put my finger on it.

Recently I took my first 24-hour train from Beijing to Pyongyang (and then again in reverse). We had sleeper bunks, and I don’t think I could’ve done the trip otherwise. China (and the DPRK more so) felt like such an alien place. The words on buildings are different, the houses are built differently, the landscape is different. There’s more of everything. It was really cool to see a chunk of it from the train.

North Korea was the same. (I’m realizing now that I haven’t done a write-up about that trip, I wanted to have a chance to digest what I saw, but I think I’ve had enough time by now). It’s very brown in May. They seem to cultivate every bit of land, so while we were coming in on the train it seemed like it was just endless farm land. There are also billboards up with the notorious former leaders of the country, Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, and slogans encouraging people to work (I think, they were in Korean). When we were in the city and I had the guides translate something for me, it was almost always a motivational phrase.

It’s a shame that throughout the 20th century the USA did such a thorough job of quashing left-wing people’s movements all over the world. And it’s a shame that the communist experiment in the Soviet Union failed so magnificently. It really works to delegitimize people’s movements elsewhere. Anyway.

I didn’t get the chance to take a good picture, but the image above is the train station in Pyongyang. You can sort of see the pictures of Kim Il Sung and Kim John Il on the building. We were in a perpetual rush on the trip, and even when we were leaving we had to hurry into the station and onto the train. The weather was beautiful until the day we left.

(As a sidenote, they seem to be really into volleyball in North Korea. They had a court set up on the train platform at one end, and we saw a few games going on from the bus or train window).

I’ll do a bigger write up of my experience in the near future, maybe tomorrow.