I never considered travelling to North Korea and after reading “Kim und Struppi: Ferien in Nordkorea” by Christian Eisert I still don’t want to go there. Which doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy the book. I actually did. The book is well written, partly funny, but mostly very informative about North Koreas present and past. Especially for someone like me, who didn’t know much about North Korea to begin with.
Christian Eisert, a German comedy writer, decides to travel to North Korea to find a rainbow slide, he saw once on a picture. He takes along his friend Thanh, a photojournalist. Both have to fake their CV to be even allowed into the country and the whole time they have to worry to be found out as journalists. On their trip, supervised by two Korean guides, they discover a weird country with empty highways, missing hotel levels and people, who love their dictators.
The one thing I didn’t like about this book was Thanh. She gets constantly annoyed by her guides, who, for obvious reasons, don’t want to talk ill about their country, by the forced admiration the people have to show for their dictators and by her travelling partner, because he doesn’t try to provoke anything out of the people they meet. What was she expecting?
Luckily Christian Eisert came well prepared to this trip and he is the one who wrote the book. So, we get an interesting travelling account about a country, which is very different from the countries we generally know and a lifestyle, that is hard for westerners to comprehend. He writes about North Korea without judgement, while still facing the problems in the country.