The Porters of the Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang, North Korea

Yanggakdo Hotel Porters

With the philosophy that it’s best to cultivate a little good will, even in the lowest of places, because you never know when you might need a friend or a little help, and even though we carried our own bags, we always greeted the Yanggakdo Hotel porters and bell hops with bright smiles, handshakes, and a few packs of Marlboro Red cigarettes discreetly slipped into their palms.

Not that we ever needed their assistance, but the porters made us proud when on the last morning of our trip, while tossing and playing Frisbee with us in the hotel parking lot, several government agent types – black shades, slick suits, BMW ride, angrily asked the porters “what are you doing, don’t you know you are playing with Americans?”

It was later told to us that they replied with the Korean equivalent of “f*** you, they are our friends!”


3 responses

  1. Wow ! That was great ! But, wouldn’t that blacklist the porters ?

    November 25, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    • Blacklist because I mentioned it here? or because of what they said to the party officials? Just to be clear, the picture I posted (I took it) is of some hotel porters, I’m not sure if they were the particular guys who told off the party officials – there were a few of them and the week was a blur. I trust they knew what they were doing.

      November 25, 2011 at 6:52 pm

  2. Oh ! Well, because of what they said to the party officials. My parents told us a lot of stories when they lived in a country under a dictatorship ( Philippines ). It’s scary.

    November 25, 2011 at 7:08 pm

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