Hidden paths - August 2017
“You see, our youth is very angry”, says my attendant and points to the the group of pupils marching towards the central square. Lead by a teacher, a guide and disciplined though, laughter, joy and curiosity surrounds the youth.
Leaving the capital, taking the main road to the East, hardly any cars to encountered. Cracked concrete, four lines wide enabling planes to land.
The Pacific/East Sea/East Korean Sea/Sea of Japan covered by rain. Sound and smell of the ocean accompany the flow of pedestrians at the edge of the road. Not a white painted stripe but one line of Cosmea bipinnatus, marks the road margins – in the entire country.
Maize and potatoes, follow rice paddies as the road climbs towards into the mountains, northbound. Piles of compost, made of litter from the forest aside – implemented on national scale, reducing natural forest to scrubland.
Villages, neat houses in proximity, pagoda shaped roofs on low wall, white clay and wooden structures. Scarlet runner encapsulate the houses, gardens full of cabbage, corn, potatoes and onions; pumpkins climbing the roofs. Inside the car, repeatedly war movies against imperialistic invaders, unveiling national enemies and spies; martial reappearance of the 1950th.
Oxcarts, some more bicycles, and a majority of pedestrians. In both direction, on national main roads; made of sand, washed down the hill. Brought up again. And again, with carts pulled by hand or ox - as the rain continues. On 800m Larix dominates, Sorbus in the under canopy.
“No Jazz?” “Jazz?” “Culture serves the nation and the people and establishes reference for permanent improvement and defence of both.” Continuous loop: woman military bands celebrating the glory of rocket launches.
Finally arriving. A cluster of peatlands, high in the mountains, divers, heterogeneous, large and exemplary for the temperate zone. Among others, Parnassia palustre and Carex limosa.