Showing posts from August, 2013

Time revisited

While searching my blog for something, I ran across this previous post:
In particular, the first part - August-2008-me talking about 2013-me looking back at August-2008-me.

So to reflect on August-2008: I don't think I was too much of a fool. Maybe a bit. Not a huge amount though, thankfully, except for thinking that 2013-me would be odd - 'weird' is a much better word. I was a bit more...emo/whiney I guess - posts like this and this remind me that, after all, I had only just graduated back then. Still, that balances out with posts on credit or inverse darwinism that seem fine, and I'm still thankful that past-me took a photo of the rubbish bin (or not) at uni.

To August-2008-me, I say: I wrote more posts than you thought I would. I think back then I already had a job offer at Google, and thought I'd be a researcher in New York by now, so working in Zurich isn't too bad. I think I'm less …

RtW Cities: Pyongyang

Preliminary readings: If you haven't yet, check out my previous blog post first. This is just about Pyongyang as a city, and all the 'OMG North Korea' side of things should be covered by following that link. This post will still be here when you get back. Done? Cool, to continue...

The next round-the-world cities family of posts features Pyongyang (평양), the capital of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK, known by many as North Korea). I would have never guessed in 2010 that I'd be returning to the Korean peninsula so soon (read the Seoul post from the last trip), and especially not on the northern side of the border, but an opportunity came up to visit for both the mass games and victory day, so it would have seemed sillier not to go!

First and foremost, Pyongyang is a city of two halves - vast amounts of concrete housing estates for the majority of the population, interspersed with the more well maintained monuments, statues, museums, galleries, ... an…

RtW Cities: Pyongyang (prequel)

Welcome to one of the more interesting cities I think I'll ever get the chance to write about in this series of posts: Pyongyang (평양), the capital of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK, a.k.a North Korea). However, based on the reactions I got when going (mostly: "Why on earth would you go there!?") plus my own predispositions, I don't think I'd be able to do it justice without a warmup post of what it took me a few days in the city to realise - that, for most part, it's not as insanely different as other countries.

Sure, it's a military-focussed single-party state with a family-based dictatorship (i.e. a Monarchy?), with a particular dislike of America (it seems the feeling is mutual), a dependence on country-level propaganda and harsh punishments for disagreeing. As it turns out, if you look at most countries with the belief they're evil, then you'll find bad stuff. Except Australia, cos we're awesome...if you overlook the …