My young new guide

She joined me on my last day. Mr. Lee was to take care of an emergency and in his absence, Ms. Pak joined us. She is 23 years old, a graduate of Kim Il Song University and was assigned to be a guide 3 months ago. She is smart and pretty.

I stared at her clothes all day. She looked so elegant in them. The clothes looked new. They were well cut, unique, of a certain dated style, but without a wrinkle or a defect. The length of her skirt was perfect. Her tights were brand-new. Her shoes still had smooth brown tips. Her parka was clean and lovely with its red color.

And it wasn’t until I got home and reviewed all the pictures several times that I saw the light: these clothes don’t belong to her. The government gives them out, decides who is going to wear what, when. I don’t necessarily think that Ms. Pak has to change out of her suit and give it back every night, although that’s possible, but I do think that it’s on loan to her and it’s new, new, new to impress, impress, impress.