A word about sheets and a question for you
I think you can see from this picture of my room in the Tongmyong Hotel in Wonsan, that it was clean and comfortable. It also had a priceless view of the seaside going down for miles; but that’s not my main point today.
When asked about why I wanted to visit North Korea, I would answer that this was a scouting trip before returning with my children. I would say that I especially wanted to see how the food was, and whether the hotel rooms had comfortable beds with clean sheets. There are lots of other factors behind my curiosity, but this answer satisfied most people and it did carry the truth.
The sheets I had in all the beds I slept with were exceptionally clean, white and starched. They were as good as perfect in this regard ~ far, far better than sheets and mattresses in many places of China, for example.
So I took this for granted and concluded that all sheets in all hotels for tourists are of this quality.
And, now, with perspective and time to think and question, I don’t know. Were the sheets made to be especially perfect for me, because of my early comment about them? Does the country micro-manage tourism to this extent? Or, on the other hand, am I fooling myself into thinking that an inordinate amount of attention may have been given to my needs and comments? I’m curious to get your thoughts on this, and I’m asking these questions in all seriousness, without any ego involved. I remember a section of my Bradt guidebook that made me laugh: it said that the Metro of Pyongyang is all make-believe for the foreigners’ sake, and that the same people keep taking it back and forth a few stations on the days that foreigners are scheduled to visit.
Can North Korea work so hard to make us believe that they’re ok?