People’s Daily reporter Zhou Ziran
China is the closest thing that North Korea has to a friend at the moment and we get that the People’s Daily is the CCP’s official mouthpiece, but they were just asking for it when reporter Zhou Ziran posted up this gushy article on the wonderful state of things in Pyongyang. Let’s just say that commenters had a field day with the fluffy piece.
Ministry of Tofu has been so kind to translate the cheesiness into English:
“Pyongyang’s tomorrow will surely be more splendid”
February 16 is General Secretary Kim Jong-il’s birthday. Choi Ok got up early and put on her newly-bought traditional Korean dress on which she spent over US$200. The red color of the dress beautifully brings out the festivity. Like in past years, she visited to Chairman Kim Il-sung’s mausoleum at the Kumsusan Memorial Palace not far away from her home…Choi Ok bought a bouquet of flowers and proceeded to the bronze statue…
After sending flowers, Choi Ok had a look at her watch and then took out her cell phone to call her college friends… It’s so much more convenient for contact with cell phones. Within Pyongyang, there are nearly 500,000 3G cell phone users. By the end of the year, the number will have reached one million. The entire Pyongyang has 2 million residents, and only one million live in downtown. Now basically every two residents own one cell phone. All her friends have had cell phones for a long time. How fast the change is!
…Now there are much more taxi cabs than before. Besides Jetta, there are also Volkswagen, Geely, (Ford) Focus. Going out is much more convenient. She had good luck today. There were no traffic jam. Lately it seems a lot of cars popped up suddenly from nowhere in Pyongyang, and traffic congestion, which was never seen before, occurred very often…
…A famous store in Pyongyang was having sales promotions. The store was packed with customers. There were a dazzling array of merchandise. Choi Ok and her friends shopped a lot and walked out of the store with bags after bags. It was lunch time. Where to dine has become a real question. Before, there were only a handful restaurants for selection. Now in Pyongyang a wide variety of restaurants are operating…There were outbursts of laughter from time to time. The festive air was very powerful. In the end the server gave Choi a discount card. She can enjoy a 10% discount if she comes within the next two months. Really great!
More varied and interesting events came in the afternoon. Kim Jong-il Flower Show is a must-see for celebrating February 16. When Choi Ok came to the exhibition hall with her friends, it was a sea of people. Then Choi found she forgot to bring her digital camera. Luckily the exhibition hall has express photo service. It takes only a few minutes to get the photos. After that, Choi and friends also went to a movie…Then she hailed a cab to go home.”