[PDF] ⚣ My Holiday in North Korea ✯ Wendy E. Simmons – Transportjobsite.co.uk

My Holiday in North Korea files My Holiday in North Korea , read online My Holiday in North Korea , free My Holiday in North Korea , free My Holiday in North Korea , My Holiday in North Korea fd82cdbf1 Most People Want Out Of North Korea Wendy Simmons Wanted InIn My Holiday In North Korea The Funniest Worst Place On Earth, Wendy Shares A Glimpse Of North Korea As It S Never Been Seen Before Even Though It S The Scariest Place On Earth, Somehow Wendy Forgot To Check Her Sense Of Humor At The BorderBut Wendy S Initial Amusement And Bewilderment Soon Turned To Frustration And Growing Paranoia Before Long, She Learned The Essential Conundrum Of Tourism In North Korea Travel Is Truly A Love Affair But, Just Like Love, It S A Two Way Street And North Korea Deprives You Of All This They Want You To Fall In Love With The Singular Vision Of The Country They Re Willing To Show You And NothingThrough Poignant, Laugh Out Loud Essays And Color Photographs Of North Korea Rarely Published, Wendy Chronicles One Of The Strangest Vacations Ever Along The Way, She Bares All While Undergoing An Inner Journey As Convoluted As The Country Itself

10 thoughts on “My Holiday in North Korea

  1. says:

    I found this book problematical in so many ways And I feel I can judge as I did very much the same trip the author did May 2015 , saw the places she did, had the same experiences and met the same sort of people Only I went with an open and sympathetic mind and was neither condescending nor superior I m no apologist for the North Korean regime but I was open to finding out and meeting people with an open heart Ms Simmons was not She simply wanted material for her book and cynically decided that a humorous approach would bring her readers Let s start with the title The Funniest Worst Place on Earth No, it s not a funny place at all Of course there are absurdities, as there are in most countries, but I didn t find much to laugh at on my trip A wry smile, perhaps, at the lack of electricity, lack of water, potholes in the road But then I don t imagine things are too good in places like Syria right now Of course it s an evil regime, but it s their regime and they let foreign tourists in, show us their country, make us welcome and look after us We should show respect for that Individuals do not a regime make I was particularly angry at James Altucher s comment that Simmons had a death defying adventure and that she was brave to go there Not at all Visiting Syria is death defying Not North Korea And let s look at Simmons own superior American Imperialist attitudes So she considers herself to be of high emotional intelligence and full of empathy towards others Pity she didn t demonstrate some of that when dealing with the people she so rudely calls her handlers We called ours guides and they were absolutely charming, doing a difficult job under difficult circumstances She is particularly rude about the older of her guides And as for hoping that they come to no harm after her book comes out well, a bit discretion might have helped them to escape any The hotel The Koryo Hotel dim, drab, smoky, weird, empty as she describes it Well, we found it rather comfortable, with helpful staff and than acceptable food So we weren t free to wander around unaccompanied We knew that before we went and wouldn t have dreamed of trying to make life difficult for our lovely guides As for taking photographs, there were virtually no restrictions, even at the DMZ, where the soldiers were indeed friendly and loved having their pictures taken with us And anyway, most North Koreans have cell phones these days so are quite capable of taking their own photos Ms Simmons comes across as shallow, patronising, sarcastic and self centred Although the book offers a glimpse into an often hidden world, it s a very superficial one, and there are many better accounts of life in North Korea Ms Simmons owes her guides an apology and she owes the ordinary citizens of North Korea an apology, and she certainly owes the poor bride who she maintains gave her the evil eye an apology Did it not occur to Ms Simmons that the bride was scared and bewildered at being made to perform for this upstart Imperialist The regime is another matter, of course, but such trivial accounts do nothing to pave the way for better understanding It is only through ordinary people that this extraordinary regime might one day topple Let s make friends with them not look down on them for what they have to endure Edited 13 Nov 2016 As a corrective to this shallow account of North Korea, I recommend Aim High in Creation by Anna Broinowski Anna is far sympathetic and open minded in her attitudes and approach and with her accompanying film does far to open up North Korea to the reader viewer than Ms Simmons distasteful book

  2. says:

    The photographs were interesting except the horribly exploitative and insensitive one on the cover The rest of the book is self serving, insensitive trash The author herself came across terribly Her immature and self centered sarcasm permeates the book Starting with the too lengthy ridiculous rant about how seriously she reacted to her driver killing a bug which, she acknowledges, he did as an act of goodwill in order to make her feel better or, what he thought would make her feel better , as he had seen her react strongly to a bug before , she becomes unbearable This culminates with the truly awful final chapters in which she is so horrible about her guide She completely contradicts herself by acknowledging that construction workers she sees are like slaves, yet she personally attacks her guide, failing to realize that her guide is most likely under command and careful scrutiny by the government and that she probably acts accordingly to avoid punishment Ultimately, she fails to have any real understanding that the people of this country are born into a very controlling environment She knows that her guides are controlled and working for the govt, yet she blames them for having to act in the ways that they do The lack of empathy and insight is astonishing The final 1 3 of the book made lose all respect for the author the final chapters are really only about herself and not N Korea The writing also lacks depth and detail For example, she never mentions the food except for when she complains about being offered an ice cream and about how she chooses to eat only chocolate and poorly cooked eggs with jam How she calls herself a travel writer.and how she found a publisher for this book, which reads like a series of casual crude emails to a friend is beyond me.It becomes clear that, despite her lengthy protestations to the contrary, Simmons went to N Korea fully intending to write a book from which to profit She went with preconcieved notions and an agenda It s sickeningly clear that she did not go in earnest to learn about the country and its people She has written that book with utter lack of regard about what might happen to her guides and the other people she encounters once the N Korean authorities get hold of a copy Worse, she overtly acknowledges in the Author s Note that her book could mean punishment for her guides, driver, etc Yet, she manages to blame it on them, saying basically oh well, it s their fault for choosing those jobs as if they had a choice There is so much wrong with that, I don t even know where to begin She declares that she really, truly hope s no harm comes to them.but I don t believe a word of that She clearly cares about publishing her book for her own gain despite the potential consequences for those she depicts She also appears to get off on feeling superior to all of the people she meets in Korea Truly despicable and disgusting.Edit It s been weeks since I finished this book and the I think about it, the it bothers me This author has zero respect for the people with whom she interacted She has zero insight I hate that the bride is on the cover and I hate that this author chose to deride laugh at that woman s situation for her own gain I worry for the guides she wrote about I m sure that the author doesn t read these reviews, but I truly hope that she understands what she s done She should be thoroughly ashamed of herself I doubt that she will ever understand, though, as that would require her to get over her astonishingly myopic narcissism I m glad that I read a library copy instead of purchasing.

  3. says:

    I get it, North Korea is funny I mean, the hilarious stories practically write themselves when their leader declares war over a comedy movie and does things like seemingly declaring war on Poseidon because no one actually believes they re stupid enough to fire missiles at Japan, the U.S or basically anything other than empty ocean But they re not a zoo The country is a real country, the propaganda is a real thing that people are taught It s not there for your amusement There s a way to be funny while still being sensitive to what s going on and this author completely missed that boat and was just jumping up and down shouting look how funny I am Look at me, I m clever There are so many issues in this book that I m not even sure where to begin One of the first things I noticed is that she refers to her guides as her handlers which, I now understand is apt because she behaved like a complete animal First of all, she compares their love for their glorious leader to the way she loved her cutest, most adorable, best doggies in the whole wide world In no way are those things comparable Not even in the slightest As a matter of fact, it s plain disrespectful which I realize is the norm for this woman I mean, I knew I was getting into this for some humorous stories, but I expected to learn something about the country and see a lot of interesting pictures But there s not a single fact in this book or even a poignant observation Everything is look how funny, and look how suspicious, and I m being a prick even though I m on my best behavior I wish I was kidding She ll recap conversations with people where she argued with them relentlessly, or made snide comments, or just ignored them because they were too frustrating to talk to but she s on her best behavior There are pictures, but none of them are captioned with what s depicted or why the picture is significant They re captioned with quotes from Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.She peppers her guides with questions and gets frustrated at their answers She says herself that everything in North Korea is scripted, so how does she not see that her guides can get in trouble by answering her questions with anything other than what they re told She s continuously going on about how she can t believe how stupid these people are and how much she hates them for not agreeing with her or laughing when she makes JOKES about their leaders That s right, she makes jokes about the Kims and gets offended that nobody laughs except her To top it all off she spends a frustrating amount of time trying to get her guides to slip up and say something they re not supposed to She mercilessly claws at them for any comment to prove they don t like North Korea or they think the country is crazy, or that their leaders aren t so great after all THAT S NOT OKAY She gets to leave after ten days They have to live there, and if any word of their comments gets back to anyone terrible things could happen to them Of course she tries to keep it anonymous, but she s very half assed about it and makes no real effort at all She hides their names, referring to them as Older Handler and Fresh Handler but she lists the exact dates she was there, she goes into detail about her itinerary for the trip, and then says things like I like Fresh Handler I think I could turn her and convince her Korea is a bad evil place Between all of that right there she s given enough information for them to track this tour guide down and kill her Eventually, in the last few pages, she admits that she has qualms about their identities and sincerely hopes they re okay, but I feel like if that were the case at all, she would have done a much better job at concealing their identities The last few chapters have nothing to do with North Korea They re about the author and her writing and trying to publish this book and she makes eye rolling comments like this I have great instincts, high emotional intelligence, and a tremendous amount of empathy I tend to get what s going on, even when no one else around me does Sorry chick, but I have 300 pages that proves that s not the case In the very beginning she mentions telling her tour guide, her North Korean tour guide, that going back to her hotel feels like returning to prison because she s not allowed to leave her hotel on her own and wander around So instead of slapping her, the tour guide offered to walk with her and buy her an ice cream Depositing me back at the hotel at 7 05 p.m on the dot, she turned and said to me, There Now you feel better, like I was some kind of child who had been granted a magical five minute ice cream mind eraser furlough If the shoe fits, wear it, darling Throughout the book she has a desperate need to prove that she s smart, insightful, and the most sensitive person in the room She mentions that she could not for the life of her pronounce Thank you correctly in Korean and kept saying it wrong And then adds If you re sounding it out loud right now and thinking to yourself, she must be an idiot, try it without this book in front of you I didn t have a cheat sheet And even though I d learned 169 new English words using Kaplan s vocab app on my phone, I couldn t get this single Korean word right Because sorry reader, but you re not allowed to be smarter than her And I think I ve said enough on why she s clearly not the most insightful and sensitive person This woman is not a travel writer like she claims to be She doesn t tell you any facts, doesn t provide any context for her pictures and includes some pretty awful selfies too , she doesn t talk about any of the food and culture except to complain about it She s not a travel writer, she s a tourist And a pitiful and disrespectful tourist at that.

  4. says:

    See those reviews in which readers talk about how horrible this author is toward to the country, culture, and people of North Korea They re not wrong.This is definitely written by a white woman who can afford to travel the world and does so at will Her writing is a little tongue in cheek and a lot pompous She doesn t take much seriously which is both charming and a hindrance to understanding this culture so foreign to our own.is what I would have said last year.However, North Korea s social structure may not so foreign any Then I prayed for all the North Korean people because, let s face it, there but for the grace of God go I. Introduction Only, it seems that the grace of God has perhaps left us all because some of these stories sounded too close to what I m reading in the news these days The fake news, that is Like Alice, I ve fallen through a rabbit hole into a world full of strange and nonsensical events, where normal is surreal, lying is widespread, and the ruler has a penchant for demanding Off with her head Again, those are things I ve been feeling for the past six weeks, or so, and I m not in North Korea.Maybe this is a good primer for what s to come, what we can expect to see in our near futures I m not actually joking this time Maybe I m a little hyperbolic, but maybe you should read this and see if any of it sounds familiar.As for the content, itself, it s mediocre I think I had expected the standard American culture shock that turned into curiosity that morphed into an appreciation for a place so radically different from what the author is used to Maybe the author feels she accomplished just that but it doesn t come across that way, at least not to this reader.For instance, the empathy of which she brags never seems to manifest Here s what I do know 1 I have great instincts, high emotional intelligence, and a tremendous amount of empathy.2 I tend to get what s going on, even when no one else around me does.3 I have been all over the world really traveled and explored it and I ve learned that the you travel, the patterns you recognize.9 I ve been managing people my entire career I know when people are lying to me.10 Everybody lies.I m going to take that tenth point as her disclaimer so I can assume she s lying on those first two points because that empathy of which she speaks, her deep emotional intelligence and all, it doesn t show in her writing She s not skilled enough to be poignant in her flippancy but, instead, comes across as morally superior and self involved which is unfortunate because that tone creates a barrier for the reader who hopes to get an insightful look at North Korea Driver was like an avuncular yakuza with bad manners But for some reason I liked him from the moment we were introduced in the airport parking lot He spoke no English Or he was fluent and faking it But what would be the point He was either in his late sixties or early forties I honestly cannot remember which I do, however, remember being really surprised by how old or how young he looked when Older Handler told me his age His visage had a sort of timeless oldness to it Like alcoholics who live where there s nothing but sun.He had a gold tooth or two, spiky hair, and a generally gruff exterior He was slight and not particularly tall, but he had the air of somebody who could and would viciously tear any enemy apart, regardless of whether or not it was deserved I always felt bad for having these feelings about him, because he was probably a decent man I was judging a book by its cover, a man by his looks.Except he did violently stomp to death an innocent bug that I had painstakingly rescued from our car just mere seconds agowhile he watched And yet, the social commentary is there if you just stop paying attention to her words and I did actually enjoy this, probably because of my own travels I m sure my journal entries are just as assholey and unaware In fact, I rummaged through my photo albums, trying to find my pictures of the DMZ I wanted to do a side by side, her picture and mine, of the room where the line is drawn between the two countries I thought that would be cute Sadly, I have no idea where those pictures are If I find them someday, I will post them here If you want to see her pictures, you can see them on the book s website.I can tell you a story, though.So on our way to visit the DMZ, from the South Korean side, we were lectured on the bus and given a long list of rules and we had to sign all sorts of paperwork and we were warned about land mines One of the warnings that were reiterated was not to smile when looking at the north s side and not to take pictures of their half of the base because they d take our picture and use it as propaganda We were told we d be portrayed as white people happy to be so close to North Korea, longing to live there, ourselves.That was weird.Once we got there, though, the anthem y sounding music blasting from old speakers atop tall poles just across the border was even weirder I was only there for an hour or two We toured the base, we didn t smile at the North Koreans, we didn t take pictures of their barracks We shook hands with our soldiers, we may have flirted a bit because it s what you do when in a war zone, and we constantly heard the scratchy, piped in music in the distance.Those memories came rushing back as I read this book I did not doubt the level of propaganda this author was fed during her time in North Korea However, there s also been plenty of anti NoKo propaganda spread throughout the US and South Korea in the past, what 70 years I d have liked and examination of our preconceived views on the country to have been a little front and center but, again, that s not what the author was in for She wanted to share her impressions of a hard to visit country and did so in fairly typical American fashion.It s worth the read and the pictures are both delightful and bizarre, just make sure you go in with some grains of salt.

  5. says:

    What a dangerous, fascinating and unhappy place to visit.This American Imperialist found some of this story funny but mostly it was sad The people are so controlled, and manipulated that it broke my heart The brain washing of the people is heart wrenching The book was written with a sense of humor so it wasn t dark and gloomy but certain aspects hit me hard It is very hard for me to see anyone suffer and be controlled.The bathroom drama had to be the funniest thing in the book She stayed dehydrated so she wouldn t have to use them any than she had to How this great leader trio, yes trio, long story, thought they could get away with be so superior without running water, toilet paper and the need for discussions just to use one is crazy Oh the discussions, with any slight adjustment came a discussion Everything about the visit was over the top looney ville The whole show they put on for the world visitors is crazy time, Twilight Zone acting.This is one travel location I have zero interest in visiting I saw of the country through Ms Simmons eyes than I ever expected to I was worried for her safety, worried for her handlers, her driver, that at any moment they would do or say the wrong thing I couldn t put this book down I finished it in one day My last thought was that I am so glad to be considered an American What a dangerous, fascinating and unhappy place to visit.This American Imperialist found some of this story funny but mostly it was sad The people are so controlled, and manipulated that it broke my heart The brain washing of the people is heart wrenching The book was written with a sense of humor so it wasn t dark and gloomy but certain aspects hit me hard It is very hard for me to see anyone suffer and be controlled.The bathroom drama had to be the funniest thing in the book She stayed dehydrated so she wouldn t have to use them any than she had to How this great leader trio, yes trio, long story, thought they could get away with be so superior without running water, toilet paper and the need for discussions just to use one is crazy Oh the discussions, with any slight adjustment came a discussion Everything about the visit was over the top looney ville The whole show they put on for the world visitors is crazy time, Twilight Zone acting.This is one travel location I have zero interest in visiting I saw of the country through Ms Simmons eyes than I ever expected to I was worried for her safety, worried for her handlers, her driver, that at any moment they would do or say the wrong thing I couldn t put this book down I finished it in one day My last thought was that I am so glad to be considered an American Imperilist

  6. says:

    I m torn about this book On one hand, the fascinating subject matter and great photos made it a very quick read There is no shortage of weird situations and off balance conversations throughout the book, which hold a reader s attention nicely I mean, who isn t fascinated by North Korea This book is amusing and weird and joyfully wry On the other hand, the author manages to write an entire travelogue about 10 days in NoKo as she lovingly calls it without actually saying anything She constantly talks about how rightfully suspicious she is of everything she sees, how paranoid she becomes toward the end of her trip and how upside down her tour feels, yet she never explores anything in real depth Besides fact checking a few things on Wikipedia once she returned home, she never drops any real evidence or data into the book, which is a shame I realize this isn t a factual essay about the weirdest country on Earth, but balancing her These people seem to be lying to me, and gosh golly, it s strange observations with some actual facts or, better yet, some quotes from real NoKo defectors about what life is really like behind closed Korean doors would ve been incredibly powerful Like so many other books nowadays, this one isn t really about it purported subject, it s about the author And Wendy Simmons isn t a traveller, she is merely a tourist I use that word knowing full well that someone like Wendy will take great offense to itPlus, based on her funny comments and honest observations, I m fairly certain Wendy Simmons is the kind of person I d studiously avoid in real life She s the funniest person in every room she s in, the smartest woman she s ever met, the toughest broad she could ever imagine the kind of self aggrandizing, self absorbed person who, despite her constant professions that she is a fervent student and she only travels to humble herself and be her best self, never really listens to or learns from anyone besides Wendy Her ego grated on me throughout this book Ultimately quite readable and admittedly funny, I d recommend this book to friends, but I ll never seek out another Wendy Simmons piece.

  7. says:

    Visit North Korea Without Having to Go to North Korea I became fascinated by North Korea after reading Adam Johnson s Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Orphan Master s Son Johnson painted a picture of North Korea that was so surreal it could easily have been likened to an Alice in Wonderland kind of place Well, in her utterly engaging and fascinating travel memoir, Wendy E Simmons does exactly that she describes her experiences in North Korea which she calls NoKo as falling down the rabbit hole and she sprinkles appropriate Lewis Caroll quotes throughout.This travel memoir is like nothing I ve ever seen before and I say seen rather than read because it s full of stellar photographs that Simmons took of NoKo It s really like a long magazine article, or a perfectly curated photo album I have no idea how this book looks on an e reader, but in hand it is printed on photo quality paper I haven t had this much FUN reading a book in a long time.Simmons is hilariously funny, to be sure And NoKo is clearly an amusingly paradoxical place But Simmons observations are also quite insightful, and she is kind when kindness is called for and critical when the situation demands it a lot of the time Her style is wonderfully earthy, and the reader is cast as a friend to whom she is recounting this amazing and almost unbelievable adventure.I can understand journalists, photographers, cultural historians, and other curious folks wanting to go to NoKo, but I can t grasp chosing to go there for a FAMILY VACATION, yet Simmons does meet a family of four from Australia Since she is never without her handlers Older Handler, Fresh Handler, and Driver, are with her every minute except when she s alone in her hotel room she can t ask the Australian family WHY they chose NoKo for a vacation spot I would surmise that either they 1 lost a bet, 2 it s punishment for something, or 3 they want their ungrateful spoiled children to never complain about anything ever again.Simmons visited NoKo in the summer of 2014, which happened to be the summer that NoKo declared war on the US outraged over the movie, The Intern , starring James Franco and Seth Rogen that mocked Kim Jon Un NoKo went on the retaliate by hacking Sony, if you recall As I was reading Simmons memoir early March 2016 , NoKo threatened a preemptive strike as the US and South Korea were holding military exercises You can t make this stuff up.I can t recommend this book highly enough I found it utterly fascinating, hysterically funny, thought provoking, and so tragically sad.

  8. says:

    DNF 5.7%, the introduction part.This author is not funny or a travel writer as she calls herself, though she tries so, so hard to be both It was painful to read her complaining about everything.Simmons seems to be using North Korea as a way to publish her book, and disrepects the people in it in every way she can.Nope, pass.

  9. says:

    North Korea is a fascinating, horrifying place The people there live under a regime like none other a combination of socialism and a theocracy revolving around their god like Dear Leaders past and present It s a place few outsiders will ever experience Wendy Simmons s travel memoir to the people s republic is a window into bizzaro land Tales of hospitals with no patients because it s afternoon and all the people come in the morning Amusement parks that are empty until tourists arrive, at which point an organized swarm of citizens arrive A trip to a great wall that no one can see through the provided binoculars because it s not real Hotels that ask guests to select the one hour that day they will have running water.Even though I m very interested in the topic of North Korea, I never connected with Simmons s writing style It was obvious she wanted to interject a sense of humor into her travels, but it came across as forced and predictable At parts, it feels like a bad open mic night at a comedy club After the hundredth instance of OMG you guys, North Korea is nuts it got tiresome Yeah, we get it I grew increasingly annoyed with her childish tiffs with Older Handler one of the two state provided escorts with her 24 7 whom she calls a bitch What earns her handler this distinction is her regurgitation of official party propaganda which is her job and refusing to engage in endless rounds of 20 questions I wonder if Simmons understands her handler could have been executed and her entire family sent to a labor camp if she d stepped out of line And it s no secret that North Korea lies to western tourists to try to make their country look good If she didn t want to deal with that, why on earth did she go Yes, it s horrible the water in the hot spa was lukewarm she knows this is a country where people starve to death on the regular, right So why did I give this book 4 stars Because even though the author and I will never be friends, this book still provides valuable insight into North Korea It contains information I ve never come across before in other books or documentaries, like the Dear Leader s obsession with twins and triplets I m glad I read it, even with its flaws Thank you to the publisher and edelweiss for granting me access to this title

  10. says:

    Early on, this self described emotional genius provides us with the sublime insight that despite our political and religious differences fundamentally, humans are all the same I ll let you glow on that for a biti was surprised that she described herself as a traveler and yet hadn t bothered to learn ANY Korean before heading off for her solo tour of NoKo as she chose to call it i am awful at languages but force myself to learn some basics before traveling anywhere as i think it s a sign of basic respect, when arriving uninvited in another culture, to at least attempt to communicate in their language She jokes about how she couldn t even say thank you in Korean.This book consists of descriptions of her Potemkin village experiences, like they weren t expected day after day reminding us always that there wasn t running water or toilet paper And at one point she calls North Korea evil Hmmm i wonder if the world population could be polledi d wager the country voted most evil would NOT be North Korea, not even close, dear Wendy, look a bit closer to home There are fantastic books about North Korea this is not one of them i finished this book, truth is, because it is published on really wonderful, shiny, aromatic paper i loved the way it smelled and i liked the Lewis Carroll quotes One star for each.

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