May 13, 2002

So there we were, touring the DMZ in Korea. We were touring the building in which they hold the peace talks. You know, this one. It actually sits on the border between North and South Korea, so that one side of the table is North, the other is South. When they're not arguing about who shot who first, they take turns using the building to parade important and (in this case) not so important people through to ooh and aah. During each such tour, you can walk anywhere in the room and be 'legal' -- so I've actually been north of the border between the two Koreas. I think technically it was South Korean land at the time tho, so yeah.

Anyhoo, we're touring this room and (if you looked at the picture, right behind where the guard is standing) right outside the window on the North Korean side is a bonafide North Korean Commie Soldier. And they were right there. Literally two feet from us. We were gawking at him, as I'm sure everyone does, and I happened to notice his pin.

Side explanation: Every North Korean wears a pin with an image of their 'Dear Leader' or whomever happens to have inherited the throne last. But it's Every North Korean. Kinda wild, to think that everyone wears this pin. And if you don't have it on, it's probably bad news.

Well, we'd heard about these pins enough, and there not two feet away from me was one of the pins. I'm gawking at it when the guard moves his hand up and points at it with his index finger, as if to say "Hey, check out my pin!" -- when the M.P. (American Border Guard) says "Hey! He just flipped you off! Cool!"

While I thought he was pointing at his pin, he was merely using it as a nice opportunity to flip off a running dog American whatever whatever.

So I've been flipped off by a real live Communist, while (possibly, but probably not) in a real live Communist country. So there.

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