I’m in the Catholic elementary school in the northern Ontario town where I spent my childhood. I’m talking to a guy I grew up with. We’re interrupted when the actor, Song Kang Ho [Korean actor from films such as Memories of Murder, the Host, and Thirst], comes along decked out in Stalinist military dress and offers me some ice-cream from North Korea. I eat it and it’s delicious.
Now I’m driving an old boat of a Buick on my way to North Korea. It feels like I’m driving through a course from Mario Kart. Nothing is finished; it’s all half completed overpasses and freshly-poured 6-lane freeways lined by torn up landscape. Navigation is maze-like and the laws of physics don’t apply. I drive off the end of an unfinished overpass and plummet to the earth some 50 meters below without incurring any damage to myself or the car.
I get out of the car and proceed to get into an argument with the construction foreman, saying, “Why the fuck are you building a 6 lane super highway with all these overpasses and shit when no one in your country even owns a car?”
I continue on and end up in some kind of tourist gift shop. I’m surprised by how many western tourists there are here. I make a comment to the effect that everything has a very Russian feel to it, especially the bead-work, while an older lady proclaims the stitching to be quite Chinese.
I start to wonder where all the vaunted North Korean security and “minders” are and I start to take some pictures. Security men dressed in black and wearing helmets come in and arrest me. Despite explaining that I was invited by a high ranking official in their army (Mr. Song) they drag me off to a prison camp.
The camp is entirely populated by westerners for some reason. They are battling some sort of little bugs that burrow into the eyes and skin of the face. One man’s right eye is completely scarred over and one young boy has a fresh infestation of them and his mother is freaking out. A new inmate, a man, who has just arrived grabs the boy in a very experienced way and holding him upside down begins to squeeze the bugs out of him. The mother protests, seeing that her son is in severe pain, but she relents when she realizes that the treatment is in fact working.