"If there is anything that will get you arrested or
deported, it is damaging the pictures of the Great Leaders,"
our guide warned us before we boarded the flight.
"Our party was escorted by guides throughout the tour all
day until we went to bed.
"The city has only young, healthy people.
"We never saw an old or sick person; the streets have no
commercial signboards, few people on the roads, no life,
colour or traffic jams, no glass on windows, and no electric
bulbs in drab apartment blocks – a strange unreality but it
"They have created an entire city for impressing
Did you feel safe?
"Safer than anywhere else in the world," she replied.
But Anjaly beat a hasty retreat when the guide invited
her to address a class on a school visit.
After the first night, the party was moved to a hotel on
an island so that they could not wander into the city at
night by themselves.
Travelling to the great monument for the Great Leader,
the rural countryside was really beautiful but the strict
protocol and the atmosphere of the massive structure was
overpowering and repressive because the Great Leader
replaces god in North Korea, she recalled.
No wonder she titled her book" "There are No Gods in
North Korea’ (Nyogi)
"To really stop complaining about lack of freedom,
liberty, material and intellectual deprivation, I would
strongly recommend a visit to North Korea at least once in
your lifetime," she advises.
After this intellectual suffocation, Anjaly moved on to
Mongolia, to the vast open Steppes in the land of Genghis
Motoring over the unlimited plains, sleeping in tents,
gazing at the unending horizons of the Gobi desert, she was
a free bird.
"Trust me when I say that nothing in the world can cure
you of your need for space as quickly and as effectively as
Mongolia," she enthuses.
"There is no way I can describe the open space, the
limitless horizons, the clean air, the space, the beauty,
the feeling of being the only person on earth.
"Of course, I was expecting space and endless horizons
but still I was not prepared for so much space, so few
people and so much livestock," she remarks.