Despite its reputation as a worker’s paradise, most of North Korea does not have reliable power, with rolling blackouts hitting the country on a regular basis. Things have become even worse since China refuses to import North Korean coal, meaning the Hermit Kingdom is having real trouble keeping the lights on.
If you look at a satellite image of the world at night, you will see a giant dark spot where North Korea should be.
All is dark
Electricity shortages that cause blackouts are common all over North Korea and occur even in the capital of Pyongyang. In this photo, all the city lights are out due to no electricity being available at the time. However, one thing is still lit up - a picture of the beloved North Korean leader.
A North Korean citizen may claim that this is proof of their leader’s divinity, while a skeptic may argue that all it takes to make this happen is a handy citizen with an electrical generator.
Hitching a ride
Since public transportation is not a real option in North Korea, locals must hitchhike in order to travel undetected. Drivers who are lucky enough to own a personal car or drive a company car, like in this photo, often use their vehicles to take hitchhikers where they need to go, for a small fee of course.
These small “businesses” are quite dangerous since any kind of private enterprise is illegal in the Hermit Kingdom.
Lines for the bus
Public transportation is in short supply just like everything else in this semi fascist country. The only place that even has public transportation is the capitol city of Pyongyang, and even there the buses are few and far between. That is the reason for the scene in this picture, with people in enormous lines, waiting sometime for hours, just to get to and from work.
And here we are complaining about our daily commute, we’ll take out traffic jams any day.
This office is only for women
Sometimes it seems like North Korea is stuck in a 1950’s time warp with no natural progression. Furthermore, the societal norms even seem to be reverting to feudal times. Therefore, it not surprising that most jobs in the country are divided by gender, something that was popular in the US and most of the world 70 years ago!
These women are most likely best friends who work in the same place, and in North Korean society, it is not considered strange or unusual for grown men or grown women to hold each other’s hands in public.