Felix Abt · 320 pages
Rating: (138 votes)
“When does a wife know that her husband is cheating on her? When he starts complaining about the lack of water as he wants to have two showers a week.” This was one of the many popular jokes.”
“Yet skirts are getting shorter, and more women can be seen in Pyongyang now with high heels. The change must be shocking to people in the more conservative countryside, where high heels continue to be associated with prostitution.”
“It’s a little-known story that bicycles played a big role in propping up North Korea’s informal and privatized economy, because they helped small traders shuffle goods between the manufacturers and markets. These bicycle riders, in turn, became an informal merchant class.”
“The husband beats his wife,” she responded. “The neighbors don’t care, and even if they complained, the man would not change.”
“One time an employee brought cakes to the office to celebrate her daughter’s passing the exam, whereas another coincidentally fell “sick” when her child repeatedly failed the entrance exams.”
“To my amusement, a traffic sign prohibited ox carts from passing by revolutionary sites, out of fear that the oxen would defecate close to these venerated monuments. These strong, resilient, and patient animals weren’t merely shuffling goods along roads, but because of the limited mechanization and shortage of fuel they also plowed rice paddy fields. I got the impression that, unlike in China and Vietnam where every year is the year of a different animal, in North Korea every year was the Year of the Oxen.”
“When your authority comes straight from God, shit always turns ugly.”
“One thing became clear as I thought back to my stay in Quirishari. Every time I had doubted one of my consultants' explanations, my understanding of the Ashaninca view of reality had seized up; conversely, on the rare occasions that I had managed to silence my doubts, my understanding of local reality had been enhanced — as if there were times when one had to believe in order to see, rather than the other way around.”
“Das Leben ist ein Angebot, das man auch ablehnen kann.”
“If you pardon the things that unfortunate people do, then what of the people killed by his selfish acts? And the people who say he should be the one killed?" ~ Juri”
“I am a physician, and as a consequence I see things most clearly in medical terms. I am arguing that we need an immunization program, one that injects people with respect, dignity, and equality. One that inoculates them against hatred.”
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