Mink Machine

A day of war

I am currently sitting in a dark room at a hostel in Seoul, South Korea. Trying my best to recover from an exhausting day of warfare study. Or should I call it a study of humankind? Earlier this morning I looked into North Korea with binoculars, seeing their flag shaking defiantly in the wind. So close, so far away.

Korea is a country tragically divided into two parts, separating families and friends. Barb wire, mines and armed guards are part of the country-scene here. Between the two are a DMZ where I wouldn’t want to wander on a dark night. Our guide politely advised us to “please stay away from the land mines”. I had no trouble at all in following that advice.

North Korea At the 38th parallel. The DMZ is the world’s most heavily fortified border.

After that I went back to Seoul and visited the War Memorial, a vast area filled with the bloodstained history of battle and strife. The halls told the sad story of killing, slaughtering and pillaging in the region. Outside the building, a lot of vessels were on display including Sherman tanks, B52 bombers, AAC missiles and more objects created by humans to kill humans.

Why is the human history so extremely focused on bloodshed? I fail to see any reason for all this killing. Is it really that necessary to attack other people just because they have chosen to live on another side of some man-made fictional border on a map?

How fragile we are.

2 comments

  • avatar
    Tess
    05 Oct, 2008

    Sounds like an emotional day..

  • avatar
    06 Oct, 2008

    Very much so. That’s why I devoted the day after (today) to devouring Coldstone ice cream and looking at cute sea otters. :)

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Featured stories

Roaming the cobblestones of Istanbul

"Inside the church there are still traces of rune inscriptions made during the Viking age by Varangians, an elite guard made up of Scandinavian immigrant warriors."

I still love you, New York

"Now I’m back and our roles are somewhat reversed. Like River Song and the Doctor, we meet again under different circumstances."

Conquering Machu Picchu

"A life-long dream came true this morning, as I stood upon the mountain looking down at Machu Picchu. I felt like some strange mix between Indiana Jones and a small boy, gazing down upon the final treasure of the Incas."

Roaming in Valletta

"I passed the statue of Jean de Valette, the 49th Grand Master who laid the foundation stone to Valletta in 1566, to gaze at the golden interior of St. John’s Co-Cathedral, where he is buried in the crypt."

The lakes of Lombardy

"The town of Como, largest settlement around Lake Como, attracts a lot of people with big wallets. But I preferred to take the funicular up the mountain to the Brunate region, where you get a much better view of the lake."

Good morning Montenegro

"One would almost think that all this secrecy was made on purpose to keep the hordes of tourists away. Let them all perish in the crowds of Dubrovnik while the people of Montenegro can enjoy their beautiful country on their own. Or something like that."