Pyongyang and Pyongyants (notes of the Soviet Trainee)
This article is written for the collection "Countries and peoples of the East" (published by geographic society) in the summer of 1990 on the basis of records made in 1984-1986. in North Korea and immediately upon returning from it. For this collection, the article has undergone significant processing and expansion.
In 1984-1985. I happened to spend a year at an internship in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, at the University of Kim Il Senya (Pyongyang). During his stay in Pyongyang, I happened to see a lot of interesting things, something from the seen I described the return home in short notes for memory, on the basis of which this article was drawn up. Of course, over the past 15 years, the North Korean capital has changed, although it is possible, not to such an extent as other cities of East Asia. Nevertheless, the notes are these about the past, albeit recent.
Pyongyang – the capital of the DPRK and the largest city of the republic. In the mid-1980s, his population exceeded one and a half million people, while on one other city of the country did not reach the half-million stroke. In Pyongyang there are not only the main government agencies, but also the majority of scientific and cultural centers of the country, including the only University of North Korean.
Pyongyang not only the largest city of North Korea. This is a special city, showcase of North Korean socialism. Throughout the history of the DPRK, the government supported a much higher standard of living in the capital than in the rest of the country. Although almost all products and consumer goods in North Korea are distributed over cards, the supply standards operating in Pyongyang are largely different from those that exist in other cities of the country. Live in Pyongyang – privilege, and only those North Koreans, whom the regime considers trustworthy, have the right to.
Although Pyongyang (or, more precisely, his noticeable part) and represents a giant propaganda operation, the city -vitrina, the functions of it are not exhausted by propaganda. This is still the city in which people live and work. It must be said that real Pyongyang has little to do with Pyongyan propaganda – the magnificent super-modern city, whose photos are filled with glossy pages of official North Korean publications.
What is real Pyongyang (or, more precisely, he was in the middle of the eighties)? Wide, but the small river Tadongan divides the North Korean capital into two halves. Only two bridges are thrown through the river (one pre-war, and the other – built at the beginning of the sixties), but it does not create special problems, as the movement in the city is small. Traditionally, the city was located on the West Bank, the development of the eastern began only in the sixties and seventies. However, the city center is still on the west bank of the river. Despite almost one thousand years of history, in the architectural relation to Pyongyang – the city is new, because in 1950-1953, the North Korean capital was literally erased from the face of the earth by American aviation. Even the fact that North Koreans declare "Monuments of Starina", In fact, it is a newcomer, often – very far from the original.
Central Quarters of the capital are really wide streets, houses of modern architecture, monumental buildings of institutions. This is a parade center where the main government agencies are focused, where the ruling elite lives. This part of the city, which can be considered a Pyongyan propaganda, Pyongyan-showcase, is small: in the middle of the eighties out of the end, it was possible to pass from the strength for half an hour. In the first post-war years, the center of the city was located on the Sonney Avenue stretching along the coast (i.e "Prospekt Victory", which was called Stalin Avenue to the middle of the seventies – another symbol of North Korean rejection "critics of the cult of personality"). Prospectus of the Sonny and today is built up with massive, pompous and heavy houses, in style very similar to the Soviet buildings of the first post-war years. In the middle of the eighties, however, the most press part of the city were areas that were located a little west, on the avenues of Chhangwan and Chollim. It is this part of the capital and became a favorite object of filming for official photographers.
However, one small detail is not too noticeable on glossy official pictures: Most of this area is drilled off with a metal fence, the passages in which are guarded by the watches (mainly – the centering round-blooded girls with automatic machines). There lived the elite of the ruling bureaucracy of North Korea. For her members were built by these houses with magnificent long-term apartments, they were waiting for luxurious in the morning "Mercedes", For their children, an exemplary 1st secondary school, an exemplary kindergarten and nursery. In the closed area there are special shops and much more, which is necessary to officials for a comfortable life. To the territory of the district itself, as a foreigner, it was impossible to get, but around him often there were often those who blocked Chhangwan Group of Teenagers – official children. This fastening Yunsi flashed in imported costumes and jackets either, more often, in French and La Kim Zhong Il. On their arrogant and arrogant physiognomy, it was written to contempt for a meltering around the beggar and hungry mobile. Even mandatory for any Korean icons with a portrait of Kim Il Sayna – a symbol of his "Flame loyalty" Great leader – steel for nomenclature siblings "Fashion Statement". They wore them in an unusual way, as it was fashionable then in young people: at the very edge of Lartskana, so the badge hung literally "on otlta".
In the same place, very close to the prestigious neighborhoods of top officials, there are also those structures that became architectural symbols of modern Korea: the Mansud Theater, the People’s Palace of Student, the Palace of Congresses of Mansud, Palace of Pioneers and Schoolchildren, First Department Store. All this is concentrated on a small patch, small even compared to the prestigious center, which is also small in the area. It is curious that on the Pyongyang’s schematic plans published for foreigners, this center is shown disproportionately, once five more than it should be, based on the approximate scale of the card.
A few hundred meters from Changwan Avenue, near the Soviet Embassy, rudded by the Holysud Theater, in which I had a chance to visit that, I must say, rather rare luck. This luxury theater, the image of which fell even to North Korean cash bills, works far from every day and very few of the foreigners, not to mention the Koreans themselves, managed to visit him. Strictly speaking, it is generally not intended for normal theater activities, for the mass visiting: his visual hall is small, it seats 300 people. Usually, the audience are foreigners and those few Koreans who, in one way or another, were able to get invitation cards. I, of course, is not an architecture specialist, but the interiors of Mansud are really impressive. Nowadays, when due to the lack of customers, the tradition of palace construction, Mansud, perhaps, one of the last structures, which did not spare money, no money, no money, was practically interrupted. In the decoration of the premises combines the traditional skill of Korean masters and the achievements of modern technology. Paul Foyer covered with huge handmade carpets, on the walls – mosaic and frescoes in the style of traditional Korean painting, furniture is decorated with the finest thread. And next to this – brilliance of nickel and glass, the ceiling, transfusing with all the colors of the rainbow, the doors on the photocells, bizarre fountains with color illumination, which is located not only on the square opposite the theater, but also in his hall. It is these fountains every night attach squares from the theater, central to Pyongyang (the palace of accounting and the first department store also come to her), the appearance of a completely enchant. Water in the fountains highlighted with multi-colored lamps itself begins to glow that red, then blue, then blue. From the pools on the square there are huge shining poles or water multicolored cables. Every evening dozens and hundreds of residents of the capital come here to admire this beauty, so contrasting with their everyday life, poor and gray.
Another part of the Path Center is the first department store. Call it a six-story building "Temple of consumption" quite difficult, as the goods that bang in its showcases for real consumption, strictly speaking, are not intended. Since all the products and consumer goods in the country are distributed on cards, Private Korean cannot and dream of buying some kind of high-tech exotics in these showcases, such as a washing machine. The first department store is a structure, rather, propaganda, designed by the abundance of its showcases (alas, relative even for the then Soviet standards) to demonstrate abundance, allegedly reigning in the country. However, officially North Korea in the eighties did not recognize the existence of a card system, more precisely, it was not necessary to speak to foreigners. Therefore, in the first department store, the rule was operating according to which foreigners could buy goods there completely freely. Nobody asked cards. One of our North Korean neighbors for the hostel for foreigners used this feature for his petty business. He agreed with his "Controlled" foreigner that he will buy products and wine in the first department store to the money received from the Korean student. After that, the entrepreneur went to the province, in his hometown, and there in the markets sold wine with a considerable profit.
In the central part of the city, of course, the majority of government agencies are located. It is curious that, as a rule, the organization does not have signs in the DPRK, at least, so were things in 1984. The one who needs it, and so he knew where a ministry or a department is located, well, and others, as they say in North Korea, this is known and not relies. Signs were not even for so harmless organizations as the Ministry of Health or Enlightenment. Another feature – the presence of protection (often armed) in all the little of significant institutions. Even in schools and universities at the gate usually stood "hourly", In the role of which students themselves performed (on the posts in turn).
Other Pyongyang began outside the small parade central zone. At first glance, the development of these areas was distinguished from the central only greater modesty and some monotony. Along the covered trees, high-rise buildings are quite modern, although "boxed", kind, so if you go down the street on the car or comfortable inturist bus (and this is how the overwhelming majority of foreigners move along the streets of the North Korean capital), and it is still not very looking around on the sides, then the full illusion of the fact that the IDT machine on the modern multi-storey city was created. The case, however, is that modern houses only stretched out ribbons along the roads, they as shirms close the interior of the quarters, which completely built up with small traditional shacks, and are real slums. These slums were closed from a view from the street not only by modern houses, but also high concrete fences that surrounded any quarter.
Further from the city center, in places where foreign and other "Guests of the capital", Slums were open open, already without any shirms and covers. Especially many traditional shacks were in East Pyongyang, that is, in the new, left bank of the city. There is a modern development, except for the vast district of Muns, stretched only by a narrow strip along several streets parallel to the left bank of Tedongan, and two more walking towards the eastern outskirts of prospectuses: Salslim and Tedonvon. All the rest of East Pyongyang is a sea of tightly pressed each other to a friend of small brick and global houses that stretch for many kilometers. There is no streets in the exact sense of the word, but only winding unconfalined passages and passages between the houses.
Typical Pyongyang One-storey house is a low construction with a tiled or slate roof, plastered and seamy brick walls. All windows and doors are facing one way and went into a small yard – Ogore. According to my approximate estimates, the area of these houses (together with the utility rooms) ranges from 15 to 30 square meters, on average by approximately twenty square meters. Usually, such a house consists of two adjacent rooms and a kitchen with the furnace of the Ondol (the heating system in Korea, similar to the Chinese can, which exists there from time immemorial time and provides that warm air passes under the floor of the residential premises, heating them). The situation is poor, as a rule, homemade, often there is only a low table and a small closet. Storeroom can be attached to the house. Tesne in such a dwelling is terrible, at night hardly not the entire floor in the room turns into bed, but the house is usually empty: the elders – at work, and children in school or run on the street.
Heated at home in the traditional way, with the help of Odol, fuel which serves coal briquettes in the form of cylinders. Made them of carbon powder and dust on special small hand presss. By the way, exactly the same coal cylinders and almost the same primitive equipment for their manufacture until recently came across the eyes and in Seoul (now, however, in the South Korean capital they are almost completely ousted by gas and oil heating). A peculiar detail of the appearance of Korean houses is their pipes. As a rule, it is just pieces of water pipes, often even curves and rudely circumcised, which, in addition, are not vertically installed, but somehow. These handy-bizarre pipes, at least on the Soviet Eye, give all the houses any unsettled, temporary appearance. In most houses, the chimney of Ondola comes out, in the Far Eastern tradition, under the wall of the house, but sometimes the pipe can be stitching from the roof itself.
Closely not only in the house, but also around him. The building density in the slums is very large, up to 30% of the entire land is occupied by the buildings themselves, the place will remain only for tiny grodes and narrow paths catering between the houses. Neither these paths nor broader drives are asphalted, so that only Pyongyang’s rocky soil saves them during rains from transformation into dirt flows. Pedestrian paths, however, sometimes lay out concrete tiles, but it is rare.
In the city center in general, and in slums – especially, a lot of children. Dozens of them run across the yards, dig in the ground, they play, so sometimes I had literally not looking around to look at my feet, so as not to surrender the handcle of some karapus, which with an open mouth looks at "Uncle Alien". I must say that a foreigner is a rare spectacle, many have seen them only in movies.
In this regard, the confusion has been remembered, which occurred with one of my acquaintances – a young Soviet diplomat. Once he went into a small shop at a hostel for foreigners, where the saleswoman worked – a woman of 35. At that time, she came to work with his five-year-old daughter, which, similar, first saw a living alien. However, it soon became clear that she had ever seen them before – in the movies. Since nicked foreigners appearing in North Korean films – it is almost always insidious and evil Yankees, "American imperialists", That polite girl greeted my acquaintances, calling him as such people called him in the films seen to her: "Hello, Uncle American imperialist bastard!"
But back to the life of Pyongyang Quarters. There are water pipes in slums, but not sewage, so residents have to use one common toilet by 5-10 houses. Of course, no about the flutter toilet speech does not go, and those of our students who came from the province, said that they saw such a device as a toilet first in Pyongyang. However, in Pyongyang, modern toilets were then (as, however, now) only in high-rise buildings. In individual houses, there are often no water taps, so among the same roofs of houses here, then there is a fancy roof of the arbor flashes. This is not just a gazebo, but a tap column – the center of life of the whole quarter. Next to the column there is a small platform where children are underway, in the gazebo itself they pick up water and erased women.
From time to time came across in slum areas and, so to speak, public buildings – apparently, premises for meetings and work of lower administrative authorities. These were the same shacks, but only painted by slogans and hung by posters. However, the slogans hung on the walls of many ordinary houses. As we were explained, all residents are obliged to write from time to time and hang out for universal ferris "Long live your favorite head Kim Zhong Il!" or "All for achievement "pace of the 80s"!". It must be said that the population did not show a special zeal on this issue and the slogan, finely and somehow written by poking letters on a narrow leaf, looked not impressive.
In October-November throughout the city, the workpiece of traditional Korean acute marinated cabbage – Korean. Each adult Korean (or, on other sources, each family) has the right to buy 80 kg cabbage cards. In the sun and still not very cold November days, the whole city is engaged in the manufacture of Kimch. Women cut cabbage and bearing with seasonings. Cook good kimchhi is a matter of honor of every korean, because if this dish is delicious, then it may noticeably brighten up the monotony of ordinary Korean food. Men also do not sit idle: they dig pita under huge clay jugs in which women fall asleep the mixture made by them. These pits overlap on top of the boards so that there is a small hatch closed on top of a wooden lid. It turns out a kind of mini cellar, which is true, just one season. Each family has its own cellar, so Korean winter, usually almost miserable, the yards of the houses look quite original: Wooden covers stick out from the ground, which closes access to jugs with Kimchi. Usually, I told Koreans, there is enough of this Kushan to spring, about the middle of April. Therefore, by the end of winter, the lids are beginning to disappear from the courtyards, but the whole ranks of huge jugs are built in secluded corners, now there are already empty.
Curious item – the abundance of wires of field phones, stretched between trees in the parks, on the streets, in the courtyards. Sometimes these wires entangled trees straight as a web. This is due, apparently, both with an abundance of all sorts of army parts and organizations and with weak development "Civic" Telephone network: there are almost no private phones, in the city of the city I saw only two or three cabbage cabins. The phone in the apartment is a big privilege, available only to a little. Outside Pyongyang, the state of the telephone network is generally primitive: my neighbor in the room, which was the birth of their Hamhyna – one of the largest industrial centers of the country, told me that they have no automatic telephone in the city and all conversations are carried out only through the switch with prehistoric "telephone balls".
From the end of the seventies in Pyongyang, quite intensive construction was accumulated, although, apparently, at least half of the population of the Korean capital lived in traditional shacks (and apartments in new homes are intensified mainly for the representatives of the elite). In addition to the district of Changwan Avenue, in the luxurious houses of which will be predominantly higher education, large residential areas were built on the left, the eastern shore of Tedongan.
At first glance, most new houses in Pyongyang were impressed by panel, but it was an illusion. There was no large-scale construction in Korea and no, houses are erected from non-standard concrete blocks, in size more similar to very large bricks. This reception is not new: at one time in Petrovsky St. Petersburg, too, was also painted under brick walls of chopped wooden houses. Soviet builders specialists with whom I had to communicate, celebrated the high strength of Korean structures. The low level of technology, according to them, was generally offset by the blesshood of workers and high quality cement.
Indeed, technology on North Korean construction sites left much to be desired and in 1985. (She did not improve and so on). Primitive lifting cranes with a funny, roughly incomparable from the cabin boards at the bottom, and concrete mixers – that’s all the mechanization on construction sites. Crowds of people with krcs and shovels completely replaced jackhammers. More than once I had to see how the workers are manually, with the help of blocks and even without the help of hand winches, raised cradles with painters to the height of the third and fourth floors. Surprisingly the coherence with which Korean builders worked: Those teams, quick execution. Somehow I have a group of workers put a huge, meter four in height, showcase glass. The whole procedure took a few minutes, passed without any devices (except for sticks and ropes), and could not not hit by its organization and speed.
The construction often worked for the military, and more often – members of a special militarized construction organization, so-called "Music shock groups", The staff of the builders were relatively few. Occasionally immediately, near the construction site, there are also digest constructed barracks-today, in which construction soldiers live.
From the very beginning, at the embassy, we have repeatedly talked about constant and not always explained restructuring in Pyongyang. Soon I saw it and with my own eyes. Opposite the embassy stood just built residential building. Suddenly the builders appeared again and first broke the top floor, and then they were allowed again two or three. A little later came the turn of a low building in the neighborhood, which first disassembled almost to the foundation, and then completed him another. Similar cases, they say quite common in the center of Pyongyang.
Already in 1984, the lighting in the city was difficult, characteristic of the North Korea and constantly exacerbating the lack of electricity, so that only central streets were lit. However, with all the mode of electricity saving, the lighting of monuments Kim Il Sayne energy, however, did not spare, the triumphal arch, for example, was highlighted so that even in Moranbon Park, hardly in a kilometer from the arch, became pretty light. However, justice it should be noted that this illumination turned off about midnight.
I must say that new houses are also not particularly comfortable for our concepts, moreover, in them, as Koreans told me, often even more closely than in old "Cibah". Nevertheless, the majority want certainly live in them, and not in the traditional dwellings, because there are water and sewage house in a high-rise building, and even the elevator, which, however, in those relatively prosperous , times usually turned on (if included) only in the morning and in the evening when people go to work. I am difficult to judge the interior of these houses, because it is not a traditional Domishko, the window is not so difficult to look at the evening, and then, as, apparently, and now, a foreigner has almost no opportunity to visit a private house. Looking into the window of a new house from the street, it was usually possible to see only the ceiling, the woven, like the walls, wallpaper, unchanged portraits of the Great Leader and the beloved leader, and the lamp of daylight or (in the province) of the conventional incandescent light bulb without a lamp.
It is characteristic that asphalt streets and roads in the DPRK little. Oil imported, it was constantly lacked even in the best times when it could be purchased in the USSR at preferential prices. In the capital, truth, asphalt is covered by driving part of all the main streets, but the sidewalks are paved with concrete tiles or are concreted. In the same provincial cities that I managed to visit, Concrete – the main coverage of the streets. With this fitting of sidewalks in small, usually hexagonal concrete tiles are connected and some features in the appearance of the Korean capital. We are talking. About the fences that building grounds surround in any country. There are fences in Korea and we are familiar to us, rudely chopped from the boards. But the construction forest in the country is not enough, it is necessary to take care and, it means to look for him a replacement. Such a replacement and steel tiles for street paving streets. When construction work begins in the city, the bridge on the construction site, of course, has to disassemble. From the liberated tile using it as a kind of brick, and lay out (of course, without a solution) low fences. When construction ends, they are quickly disassembled, and the tiles are returned to the previous place.
Sometimes during walks in Pyongyang, I met the markets – a new one for that time Detail of urban life. It is said that at the beginning of the sixties, after a complete ban on any private trading and elimination of household plots, markets as such completely disappeared from the cities of North Korea. But life, economic reality has once again proved that they are stronger than ideological constructions and administrative prohibitions: markets, however, semi-faceted, again began to appear in the country shortly after their eradication. About 1980., that is, shortly before my arrival in Korea, their existence was officially recognized, and since then the markets act quite legally.
Most markets jutter then in secluded places, in the courtyards or small lugs, and the main one is located under the big viaduct on the most eastern outskirts of the city. How many markets were in those days in Pyongyan – I don’t know exactly, but I suppose about a dozen. Almost all of them were not very high and represented the platforms delicated high fences, on which trading rows are located. Around the market always spinning many people. The bugs of anxiously looking around people were gathered in the sides who instantly disintegrate when approaching any suspicious: there were selling goods from under the floors. Often these gugs consisted of some men and from there came the characteristic ringing of the glass: the moonshine is driven and in Korea. In general, the market was sold absolutely sun, but relatively with the Soviet markets of socialist times, the poverty of the range of goods sold and a small share among them is actually food. On the shelves it was possible to see apples, meat, ducks or chickens, germinated soybeans, homemade sweets, occasionally – fish or potatoes. However, the majority of sellers, (I think, two thirds of them) traded not with products, but by a variety of things: clothes, foreign medicine and film, all sorts of craft crafts. Goods of more expensive, like tape recorders or cameras, also, as Koreans told me, sometimes sold in the markets, but from under the floors and with some precautionary measures.
Petty trade was not only in the markets. In the evenings of the merchant appeared at many metro stations. Usually it was older women who sold all sorts of craft crafts. They sit in Korean, squatting, and in front of them, on the detachable right on the ground of the piece of fabric, imprisoned hairpins, scallops, studs. It is impossible to say that these grandmothers did not have a removal from buyers, but, apparently, some kind of benefit was given, otherwise it would not be engaged.
For me, I was first strange that during my first walks around the city I did not see anything that could be called the plant, only in the distance, in the southwest, we visited a few carpipes of CHP. Subsequently, the plants of the whole showed: they stretched narrow stripes along the railway branches. However, it was usually not the factories in the current Soviet understanding of this word, but something like large workshops: small in the area, with dysphem constructed shops, with low pipes.
On technology that exists in these enterprises, it was possible to judge their products, at least according to the same trolley buses or cars. Apparently, at the Pyongyang trolleybus plant there was no or almost no press equipment, since the bodies produced there trolley buses and buses were not stamped, but were made by hand. The right shape, it seems to be given up with a sledgehammer, so that all of them were covered with dents and potholes, wiring to lamps stretched directly on the ceiling, whose plywood plates often lagged and dangled over passengers heads.
However, it is necessary, however, to recognize that the imperfection of technology in Korea was partly compensated by the hardworking of the people, his hard work in the most severe conditions. These imperfect trolleybuses were kept in sample order and clean. It concerns this not only buses and trolleybuses, but also trucks (I, of course, compare them with technically much more perfect, but rather slimless buses and trolley buses in Soviet cities). The degree of worniness of the North Korean Automobile Park was already superior to the sun, which only you can imagine. In fact, the DPRK represented a huge Museum of the History of Motor Transportation in the Open Sky. On the streets of Pyongyang, there were no rare cars of thirty or even a forty years ago, the side of which is literally covered with red stars, each of which means 50,000 km of run. On some machines, two dozen of these icons were blocked. You can imagine how much power, how much work it took Korean chamices to make some Soviet ZIS-150 release of the fifties more or less rugged and even carry goods.
The main view of public transport in the city was trolleybus. Total in Pyongyang, as Koreans told me, something about one and a half dozen different trolleybus routes. Their numbering is missing, the route is indicated by the names of the end items, and the numbers (1, 2 or 3) are shown, in which direction is trolleybus, but what stops it stops. For example, from the first department store to the Sadon area go trolley buses at numbers 1, 2, 3. They have the same route, but now stops – different. This system is quite inconvenient, but it is installed on the personal order of Kim Il Senya and, therefore, can hardly be somehow changed (if, of course, the Great Leader himself will not give a new wise instruction on this).
Travel in trolleybus, as in the bus, – by tickets worth 10 pieces each, which were sold at the cash desks of most shops. When the trolleybus came to the stop, the conductor went out and, putting outside the back door, began to collect cedals from incoming passengers (input – only through the back door). As soon as the salon is filled, the conductor came inside, the doors were closed and the trolley bus went further. People waiting for trolley buses usually built in advance and sat down very quickly, organized, without anyone.
Conductors in trolley buses and buses worked, as a rule, women. They always wore shaped hacks colors and a cap with a big red star. The same form and drivers. Among the drivers of trolleybuses, women were most, in the wheel of buses to see them did not have to.
Buses in Pyongyan were little, and they only went on weekdays all day, and on weekends and holidays – only in the morning and in the evening. The reason is simple – the lack of gasoline, which was felt already then. Most of the Pyongyang fleet made old Czech "Skoda" edition of the fifties, but sometimes Hungarian met "Ikarusi-260", The number of which by the end of the 80s has grown significantly.
In addition to Soviet trucks, most of the old, met in Pyongyang and many Japanese cars, but about half of all trucks – Korean production. These are built according to Soviet licenses "Sonny" (GAZ-51) and "Chargezho" (KRAZ-256), as well as their later modifications. Of course, that these cars are built according to Soviet projects, Koreans in their majority do not know anything: official ideology "Power Supports" Not really approves the dissemination of such information. From the passenger cars on the eyes often came across "Volvo" and "Mercedes" different, usually very expensive, brands in which local officials drove. Many "Gazikov", In the DPRK proudly called "Charek Kensen" – "Support for own forces" (officially in Korea never refers to the use of foreign licenses and projects). Occasionally met in the stream of movement and Soviet cars, but there were few of them, Korean officials seemed to believe that "Volga" or "Moskvich" — Below their advantages and preferred government money for purchase "Mercedes" and "Volvo".
Metropolitan, two branches of which were played by Pyongyan from the beginning of the eighties in the Western, Right Bank of the city. Pure Military Metro Features: Incredibly Big Bulk, Many Hermetic Doors, Long and Mandatory Shuttle Transitions from Actually Station to Escalator Tunnels. The stations of the Pyongyang metro with the same palace luxury, which is associated with the Moscow metro station of Stalinsky times: marble, mosaic, stained glass windows, huge bronze chandeliers. The appearance of the stations several spoils very poor lighting, as no more than half of all lamps include for saving considerations. Trains from three cars went quite rarely, after 5-10 minutes, but passengers were not so much, so it did not create any special problems. Pyongyants lay down very early, so from January 1, 1985 the subway, which was previously closed at 23.00, it began to work at all to 22.thirty.
Although I said that the people in the subway were usually not so much, it does not apply to "pic hours". Surprisingly, at this time, the landing in the subway was the direct opposite of the organized and open landing on the bus or in trolleybus. The fact is that the subway did not have to release the emerging, so that, as soon as the train stopped, a human whirl was formed at each door: the crowd of emerging fell outward, and to meet it, as silently and focus on the way to the elbows and shoulders, rushed. Nobody inferior and, in the end, when the head of the leaving weakens, the oncoming flow literally literally dropped into the carriage of the least terminal, which found themselves in the tail. However, in buses and trolleybuses, it was also not accepted before stopping in advance to the exit, but there it did not cause special problems: after all, all overlooking there were organized there.
All employees of the subway wore not only a dark blue form, but also the signs of differences, had ranks, approximately similar to the Army. Part of them, according to Koreans, did not come to this work in the usual basis, but was gaining to the service in about the same way as in the army. For several years, they were at a bargainable position. These employees, in particular, include girls-duty at stations and escalators – strong, autonous and round young peasants. Actually, I was told me that the service in the subway was honored and to some extent prestigious, but the work was enough. Especially a lot of hassle hurt: with the mechanization of cases it was no matter, there were no cleaning machines, so all the stations had to be dragged by huge versions.
There existed in Pyongyang and a taxi, but it served only foreigners, small taxisups were in several inturist hotels. As some high-generation diplomats remembered, in the fifties, an attempt was made to create and "Real" Taxis, which would be intended for Koreans. However, in the sixties, in the era of tightening nuts, from this bourgeois-decadent venture refused. Interesting payment system: taxometers was not, and the price did not depend on the distance, the passage from anywhere in the city to any other is a foreigner to a certain, clearly fixed amount. In 1985, it was 5 won, but subsequently, after multiple increases, significantly rose. Apparently, this system facilitates and control: the currency of the whole.
If we were speeching about transport, then I must say a few words about this form like a bike. Bike is usually associated with the Far East – whose countries, most, probably, "Cycling" in the world. This is true, if we talk about Vietnam or China, but there were otherwise in Korea. Cyclists entry to Pyongyang was simply forbidden. In other cities and in the village, the truth, the bicycles were made, but there are relatively few of them: such a crowd of cyclists, as in Shanghai or Hanoi, in North Korea could not be seen.
Finishing a story about transport, I would like to say a bit and about a long-distance message, about the connection of the capital with other cities of the country. In 1984-1985. There was no internal air report to the DPRK (although some foreign directories claimed the opposite), and flights within the country were carried out either by charter flights or by the special decision of the authorities. In the first case, passengers were foreigners who are ready to pay for currency (usually groups of Japanese tourists), and in the second – local bosses.
Therefore, the main type of transport in the DPRK was a railway, although long-distance buses went for small distances. The metropolitan station is located in the center of Western Pyongyang, it is quite large and quite clumsy gray building in Stalin Neoclassicism, clearly built in the fifties by Soviet architects in the fifties. Like all the stations of the country, there is no direct access to the platform from the waiting room, the peer himself is carefully fenced, and the only exit is not only a robine girl, but also two military in shape with green lumps of internal troops and with vehicles with vehicles. You can pass to the peer, only presenting a ticket, documents and decorated by all the rules permission to travel issued by security authorities. Approximately the same control exists at all other stations. Since the days of the Korean War in North Korea, there is a ban on free movement in the country, and therefore, for a trip to the neighboring county or province, North Koreans need to obtain police permit. Passengers start at all shortly before the release of the train, for 10-15 minutes, and here something strange begins to occur. Passed passengers, nailed backpacks and suitcases, breaking their heads rushing to the train, puff, pushed, struggling to overtake each other. The last few minutes before the train’s departure, all future passengers are engaged in this cross, the meaning of which I never learned. Koreans, whom I asked about it, dismissed, but the case, apparently, is that the places in the wagons are not numbered and everyone seeks to take a place better.
Trains in trains look very sad: dirty, shabby, often with knocked glasses. At night they are almost not illuminated, only a pair of dull light bulbs burns at the very door. Therefore, nothing surprising is that when traveling around the country, the officials who accompanied us immediately stopped any attempts to look into these cars and even more so much carefully examine them. Nevertheless, I managed to make some idea about them. In general, they are similar to the wagons of our suburban trains: hard wooden seats, tightly scored by people. However, there are not enough places and is missing and many are forced to get straight on the floor. There are wagons with soft seats, but they are quite small, and they are intended for authorities. The third, the highest class is the jewel (or, as they are called in Korea, sleeping) wagons. Courage cars in the country are almost no and ordinary people do not go to them – or because it is expensive, or more likely, simply because they do not sell tickets there. Wagons with bedrooms are intended only for foreigners or large bosses. They look exactly the same as Soviet cars familiar to us – in a compartment 4 shelves and a small table with a lamp.
Most traveling, however, spends a trip to the rigid benches of common cars. If you consider that Korea is a small country, it may seem and not such a serious problem, but after all, the speed of Korean trains is meager, 20-30 km / h, so the trip even on a relatively close distance can take all night that you have to spend, sitting on a wooden shop, and even right on the floor.
Amazed in Pyongyan the abundance of underground transitions, which met at every major crossroads, although the movement in the city was rather weak even for the then Soviet standards. Because of this, the new areas of Pyongyang sometimes produced some unreal impression: wide, but absolutely empty streets, and underground transitions at every intersection. Police carefully watched where there is an underground transition, people have definitely used them. At all significant intersections, the adjustments were proudly: with rods, in summer – in white, and in the spring and autumn – in blue form. Traffic lights in Pyongyang was not at all, not one. In this regard, the funny story is remembered. Somehow a reportage from the DPRK appeared in the Soviet newspaper. There, among other things, it is said, as the Soviet specialist, wounded in Pyongyan, was injured at the accident at the Kim Chheki combine. Challenges this as follows: "The capital was waiting for the car, the green burned everywhere". Do I need to say that it "Everywhere burned green" For a long time, the theme of jokes among the Soviet colony in Pyongyang.
But the city is not only at home, not only cars and roads, but also people. It is a pity that about the usual, everyday life of simple Koreans I managed to learn very little, because the authorities did the sun to prevent any major contacts between foreigners and the population of the country.
Pyongyang wakes up early. Workers most enterprises should be in place to seven, and employees – to eight o’clock in the morning. Eight also begin classes in schools and universities, so in the seventh hour the whole street is filled with people. Among them, a lot of schoolchildren who go to school build up with songs. According to the order in North Korea, children cannot go to school themselves. All students of one school living in the neighborhood at the appointed time must be gathering on a special "national team" And already from there under the command of the commander of the commander themselves appointed from among the schoolchildren and, necessarily, with the song, they go to school. No need to explain that in the songs, of course, it comes in a great leader (Kim Il Seine) and about the beloved leader (Kim Zhong Ira). It is believed that such construction exercises "Rise in children Socialist Spirit of Collectivism". It must be said that continuous workouts lead to the fact that the recharge of the group of Pyongyang schoolgirls can envy the Rota of the Soviet Army.
Dressed Pyongyang residents in the middle of the eighties were very modest, although it was difficult to see a frank poverty. In the summer, most women wore a simple white blouse and a skirt, although some Pyongyangs are noting, however, preferred a fairly intricate European-cutting dress, with edging and ruffles, something similar to those that worn our mothers in the mid-fifties. The traditional National Clothes of Korean was rarely carried: only in particularly solemn cases, yes during pregnancy, and even in the photos in the magazine "Korea". Women and pants put on, but this clothing was a purely working: Koreanka’s trousers clean the yards, they have around houses, go to the plant, plant rice and work in the fields, but to present a woman in pants in the theater or just in the park Sunday afternoon – it is impossible.
Men in the summer walked most often in white shirts and pants. "Gentlemen set" North Korean France consisted of three items: hours, umbrella and Japanese colored glasses. Each of these things cost its owner not only considerable money, but also works, because nothing of this list, except for the clock, in stores it was impossible to buy even by orders and cards. In the colder weather, men dressed in costumes and french. In 1985. Francci still prevailed, but already the Sun more passage "Overseas clothes", How to refer to the Korean costume European cut. A particularly notable suit on Franch’s suit was then when in 1984., After almost the quarter-time break, Kim Il Saint returned to this dress. After the clothes changed Kim Il Sen, the great dressing of officials began, whose witness I was at that time.
General officials, "Frames" dramatically stand out for their clothes and behavior. They wore Frenci Good Sukna, Fountain Pick, In Hands – Leather Folder, On Feet – Leather Low Shoes Instead of Ordinary Moter Slippers. If adding the fatness and rainily brazen-smug view, then you can imagine a typical North Korean nomenclator.
In winter, clothes, of course, is changing, but not as much as it would be expected. The fact is that for some Koreans a winter jacket or a coat – a dream is just unattainable, and others, although they have winter clothes, they really cares and wear it only in severe frosts. There is almost no coat at schoolchildren, sometimes – and some students and female students. Winter in Korea frosty, so sometimes it happened to zyabko even to look at how girls go to the fifteen-perdus frost on the street in thin synthetic suites and ordinary Korean shoes – plaid slippers on a rubber sole. Even in the strongest frosts, this shoes were about a third of Koreans. Therefore, in the coldest days, many have to move from the subway to work by half.
By the way, among young people (student, at least) was even peculiar chic: not to wear a coat or jacket and in the strongest frost. In connection with these, the event that happened in winter near our hostel. Somehow a group of Korean students gathered there. One of them was a new head of living together with foreigners and watching students and female students, and the rest are these students themselves. The street was degrees five frost, but all the girls dressed in some light shaped costumes, and only their chef appeared in a thin coat, like our demi-season. What rose here! The girls began to mock their boss:
– Frozen our boss, sleep is afraid.
I’m hot, and men are freezed.
– Ah-ah, you are our head, an example should we show!
And so on and so forth. There were no two minutes as the poor, blushing, turned into flight and appeared again (a few minutes later) without a coat.
Many women have a child attached to his back. Oddly enough, but the fact that Korean women wear children on the back, for some reason built in the DPRK in the rank of the most real state secrets. A woman with a child on his back, as well as with a load on the head can not be seen in any North Korean film, nor in one book or newspaper. That is, when it is a speech of a dark colonial past or about the horrors of South Korean reality, then in films show women with children on his back, but if the film is dedicated to the DPRK and modernity, then there can be a speech: toddlers on the screen are in wheelchairs (although behind the whole stay in North Korea I, so to speak, "alive" I saw only one stroller) or worn on hand. At one student from the GDR, with me accompanying us, the Koreans even littered the film precisely because she took off the baby, comfortably arranged on his mother’s back. What is the reason for these rigors – is not entirely clear, although, most likely, someone in the North Korean leadership decided that the view of a woman with a child behind his back or with a load on the head in the Western audience causes associations with "Oriental" Exotic / backwardness (although North Korean bosses, most likely, did not read Said, this point of view, partly, justified).
I must say that the Koreans are peculiar to the amazing love for children, which manifests himself literally to. Against the background of universal poverty, children, especially small, were quite decently dressed, and even in slums, kindergartens were carefully well maintained and equipped. It’s funny to see what a fuss began in the subway whenever a woman with a small child. She was immediately inferior to her, and the baby becomes the center of universal enthusiastic attention. All the neighbors sat down him, corrected the clothes, talked with him or treated something tasty. Children are a favorite topic of conversations, and the most impregnable or unfriendly Korean literally melts when you ask him the question of his children or grandchildren.
There was a lot in the city of students in a traditional greenish form: girls – in sundresses and sweaters, boys – in suits and caps. Wearing forms on classes – necessarily. In those days, the Korean capital was located in the Tens of higher educational institutions: University of Kim Il Sena, Polytechnic Institute named after Kim Chheki, Pedagogical Institute, Aggonomical Institute, Construction Institute, Institute of Light Industry, Railway Institute, Medical Institute, Institute of Foreign Languages, Institute of International Relations, Institute of Arts, Institute of Theater and Cinematography, Conservatory (List, perhaps, incomplete).
In general, in the system of higher education, the DPRK metropolitan universities occupy a special place. Even the right to try happiness in the exams in Pyongyang University is not provided with every graduate of high school. Korean, after all, can not, at wish, go beyond the limits of the dear county, requires a special permission of the authorities. Only the best graduates of provincial schools can get the necessary direction allowing to arrive in Pyongyang and pass exams there, while the worst must be content with provincial universities or technical schools, and most. Only a few percent of graduates get the right to go to pass the exams in Pyongyang (Of course, only a small part of them enters any Pyongyang University). When issuing permission, they paid attention not only to academic achievements, but also on "Pure of social origin". The role and communication of the parents played (two familiar students frankly told me that they came to University Kim Il Senya due to the fact that their fathers are high-ranking officials — "Can everyone"). However, most students make up those who hit the university, already passing through many years of service in the army, in a very solid age.
Among the passers, there were a lot of military, often the whole units were held on the streets, sometimes in a field form and with weapons. Military worked on many construction sites in the city, the barracks them were often met on the outskirts of the city. In general, the army in Pyongyang felt everywhere. On the streets constantly met patrols armed with automata. On the outskirts of the city hardly on every hill there were locators, anti-aircraft batteries (by the way, their calculations often consisted of students who were thus practiced as future stock officers). Oddly, there were no fences in military units, so during walks around the city. Of course, I felt it hard enough, waiting for me to be, and I will have to go into heavy and unpleasant explanations, but, to my surprise, the sun went well. To say that I did not pay attention to me, I can’t, because on any foreigner in Pyongyang pay attention, but my presence was practically in the location of the military unit no emotion caused. Moreover, somehow, having lost on the eastern outskirts of the city, I found myself in the location of the anti-aircraft battery, no fenced, and asked the first oncoming sergeant to explain how to return to the center. He was not surprised at all and very politely and Tolkovo helped me get to the nearest trolleybus stop.
Among people in military uniforms, women were the noticeable part of which among servicemen seems to be 20 percent. It is believed that they serve in the army voluntarily, but in fact they are also called upon service, but selectively, by decision of the military registration and enlistment office. Formally, the service life in the army was 3 years 6 months, but in fact, demobilization is always postponed for several years. How much actually serve in the Korean army – I do not know, judging throughout the service life depends on many circumstances, but in any case it is very large. At least those of North Korean students who lived with us, who served in the army, spent 5-7 years. At the same time, the service in the army in Korea is considered as a rather prestigious lesson: and feeding good, and clothing, and teach something, and easy to join the party, so after the army a rustic guy has some chances to get into the city or, Returning to the native village, get out in small bosses.
No impression "militarion" The life and life of the city strengthen educational air alarms, which until the end of the 1980s. arranged 5-6 times a year. The spectacle is for an unusual person, really looked impressive. In the evening, in the eighth hour he was heard as a lot of Siren and in a few minutes the whole city was immersed in complete darkness. The windows were lowered by dense light-constant curtains, and without that scarce street lighting turned off, movement – stopped, and only a few cars with light-scale shields on the headlights were slowly crawled along the dark streets. However, all this, rather, was just a performance: the Koreans warned about the alarm in advance, she did not cause any problems, and no one seems to be seriously taken seriously. It is clear that in the age of rockets and locators, all this tinsel had no real military significance and was satisfied only for even more injection of the situation, creating a feeling of some nervousness. Apparently, military uselessness of the alarm was so obvious that later, after 1990, they refused.
On the streets of Pyongyang, there are generally people in shape, and not necessarily they were the military. In addition to soldiers and officers, the form was worn by students and schoolchildren, metro and public transport workers, militant security fighters, railway workers and, of course, police. In the DPRK, they all had the signs of differences and titles, often – similar to the army (even miners in North Korea are divided into companies and platforms and have military ranks).
People in the green uniform clothing of the military pattern came across the eyes of the difference, identical army. However, the signs of differences were worn very peculiar – not in the form of a pursuit, and not in the buttercups, but on the chest, in the form of quite large rectangular spars, on which all the necessary stars and lumens are depicted. All this are members of a special militarized organization – "Music shock groups". On the streets there were hardly no more than the military. They mainly worked on construction sites, performed unqualified work on the factories. Youth was gained in this organization as well as in the army who serve the boys there and girls were at a barrlant position, obeyed almost army, strict discipline and received quite thoroughly military training. At the same time, this is not military-building parts, "Stroybat", which also exist in the DPRK, and an independent organization, directly from the army itself, not related, although completely militarized.
Often there was a sign of a hairdresser. Koreans wear short hairstyles, usually with a plot, and men often lubricate hair for glitter with a special fondant. Students, by the way, was forbidden to wear not only long, but even, according to Soviet concepts, and middle hair (they were also categorically prohibited to appear in classes without a form). Women all haughtily and curled. This hairstyle went far from every Korean, but to this expense, as I was explained, there was a special indication of Kim Il Sena, who somehow noticed that Korean women idle haircut and curling. Of course, local officials immediately provided the magnificent (literally the word) performing this instruction and now only the old women can sometimes see the hairstyle of long hair collected in braid and laid on the back.
The working day in Korea began at seven or eight o’clock in the morning and lasted, along with mandatory daily meetings, about 10 hours. The duration of the working week is six days, so that a simple person has fallen not too much free time, especially if you consider almost complete absence of household appliances in North Korean homes. Those probably more valuable were rare free hours and days.
On one of the most popular ways to carry out free time, it was possible to make an idea, while walking on some Pyongyang Park. Sunday – Picnic time, very popular in Korea (by the way, not only in North, but also in South). In the free days of Pyongyang, the people of 10, the companies went into extensive city parks or to the suburban Park of Texian. There, in love with the place, such a company was located for a long time, often for the whole day. Food has laid out on the grass and, sometimes, a little drinking. All picnic participants in turn sang songs, then often flooded games, some humorous semi-speaking competitions. Behind the competitions followed dancing, behind them – again songs. Occasionally in companies you could see the tape recorder, but more often the music was replaced by cotton in your hands. Sometimes a bus or car can be seen next to a particularly large company: it went to rest workers of some enterprise with their families.
From time to time there were groups of gamrupters. By the way, in contrast to South Korea, where the Japanese playing cards are grip in the go (they themselves – a variation on the theme of Portuguese playing cards of the XVI century), in the north they got the distribution of the Western Map of the Western Sample. It is said that at the end of the seventies to see in Pyongyang a group of people openly playing cards, it was almost impossible – it was categorically prohibited.
Koreans are generally very musical, they love to sing (the circumstance, widely used and official propaganda). In the evenings on weekends, it was often possible to see the mugs of people who sing, smoking in Korean, squatting, around the guitarist (in general, the most common musical instrument – guitar). Purr under the nose Songs passersby on the streets, especially often – young girls. The repertoire of this singing is noticeably different from the one who sounds every day on the radio: they are popular, of course, not marches are popular, and lyrical melodic songs in the spirit of the Soviet pop of the thirties, the days of Dunaevsky. However, Kim Il Sole is mentioned in most of them, after all, there are no other texts in the DPRK.
On the main holidays on the square Kim Il Sayna (from the People’s Palace of Student) – the main square of the Korean capital – dances were arranged, in which foreign foreigners participated in Pyongyang. Dancing started around 19.00 and continued about an hour, they were removed and television. I must say that the spectacle is quite spectacular and impressive. Men came in their best costumes, women in bright, multicolored dresses of traditional cutting. Unusual Order of Clothes, Music, Bright spotlights created a feeling of a large, universal holiday.
Often in the most beautiful places of the city you could see the weddings. Newlyweds photographed against the background of the Theater Mansud, on the shore of Potchongan. The minimum age of marriage before the early eighties was very large: 27 years old for men and 25 years old for women. Then he was slightly reduced, and in 1985. It was 24 and 22, respectively, (by the way, about these norms is not reported officially anywhere). Our questions about the reasons for such restrictions, Korean officials and teachers often answered that "Youth should be all without a rest to be devoted to the ministry of the Grand Chief, the case of the construction of socialism and communism". It is strictly forbidden to marry (and marry) to students, even if they are already in very solid years. If such a Great Student is in marriage, it is automatically deducted from the university. The same punishment was theoretically relied on sexual relations, although in practice it often looked through the fingers.
One of the impressions remaining with me from communicating with North Korean students is the extremely low level of their knowledge of the world around. If it should be noted that there were specially selected students with us, in the mass of their well-dealing. However, it is impossible to blame them in this, because the Kimirsenov government is made literally sun so that they know as little as possible. Foreign literature, the history of foreign countries in school is not studied, there are almost no foreign literature on store shelves, so that the Koreans are fenced from the world culture. The study of the entire Nekorean is constantly carried away, declared "lowlands in front of a foreign one", which will be tremended by North Korean propaganda of Dancy and Nostano. But after all I "Korean" In the DPRK usually means "KIIMSENOVSKOE" or "Chučhesky". Therefore, its traditional culture is silent as "feudal" and "reaction", Staying for the most part unknown to modern Koreans. All this – both world culture, and national traditions are trying to replace some artificial "Chuchhesky culture".
Therefore, in bookstores, about a quarter of all books were the works of Kim Il Sen and Kim Zhong Ira, even about the same – comments on them and literature "Juche’s ideas", The rest is special, technical and children’s literature, as well as artistic works, we also usually told about the activities of Kim Il Sena or, less often about combat and labor exploits "Firemen devotees" His leader of the Koreans (however, even such works in the stores were very few). Most of the museum of fine arts occupied the section of modern Korean art, in which almost all the paintings were either directly dedicated to Kim Il Sayne, or were the illustrations of the main Korean slogans made in the spirit of the most executed social realism.
Such a policy in the field of culture could not not give its results. None of our 5 -6 hostel neighbors (university students!) I did not hear anything about the great French revolution, or about the civil war in the US. Only one of them called two European writers (these were Shakespeare and Dumas), the rest knew only Korean and our literary names. However, the Soviet literature for them ended in the mid-fifties, with the end of the Stalinist period. The last time from their studies (at the philological faculty) were some of the participants of the military years ("our character" A.Tolstoy), and the most modern Soviet writers – Alexander Ostrovsky and Mikhail Sholokhov. Fully unknown for Korean students turned out to be literature of neighbors – China and Japan. Extremely modest knowledge was shown in the history of their country. The surveyed period of the Cogger more or less knew the events of other epochs of Korean history are known to them very weakly and approximately, and what they know, is mainly to the list of real or imaginary victories of Korean weapons over external enemies. True, in matters of pedigree Kim Il Senya, all students showed amazing awareness and very qualified could tell about who was the great-grandfather or cousin of the Great Chief. And the speech of the IDT is here about the students of the best university country, many of whom have sought to read, literally swallowed all those few meaningful books, which only it was possible to get in the country. The trouble is only that the books of such were very few, and the picture of the surrounding world, which was contained in them, was very far from reality.
Now – about Pyongyang museums. All of them could be divided into two categories: museums in the exact sense of the word and the so-called "Museums merit" – "Sachzhokkvan". The first was a bit – a historical museum, the Korean Art Museum, the Ethnographic Museum, the Museum of the Revolution History and the Victory Memorial in the Patriotic War, but the second in Pyongyang, as in the province there was an incredible amount, they were hardly in every major city, with some enterprises and institutions. The full name of these museums – "Museum of the revolutionary merit of the Great Leader".
But decorated only "Kimirsenovsky" museums, about others (historical, for example) it is impossible to say. In the museum of fine art, we were shocked, seeing that the pictures of the XVP-nineary centuries hang on simple white walls right above the heating batteries, and the guide, showing them, calmly drives the picture by pointed. Drives it precisely in the picture, according to her canvas itself, so even sometimes the characteristic rustling of the funker’s old paper is sometimes distributed, and the whole picture literally walks the walker and swings from side to the side. Seeing this for the first time, we, Soviet excursions, literally frozen with open mouths. Struck by such storage works of art, we asked if it was not a copy of it. "No, original", – Tranquilly answered the guide and turned to the next picture – a magnificent late-medieval landscape with a view of Pyongyang. "But here, – she said with a taking case with pathetic intonation, -We can see the place where the statue of the native Great Leader!"- And again pounded the pointer to the picture, at that place, where Mansud Hill was depicted. At the same time, the paintings of the second section dedicated to any official themes are well decent and