Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Paying for a piss: The true face of capitalist decadence

Like other football fans, I'm eagerly awaiting tonight's fascinating World Cup encounter between Brazil and North Korea, whose coach Kim Jung-hoon has vowed to "embarrass the Brazilian team".

This World Cup is one of the very rare occasions on which the world's media are able to peer into the black box that is North Korea. There have been some good pieces on the North Korean team and its Japan-born star striker Jong Tae-se, including this one in the LA Times and this one in The Guardian.

Both reports mention Jong's bemusement at the naivety of his team-mates, who are cut off from the rest of the world like most North Koreans. They refer to an incident recounted on Jong's blog, when the North Korean team was recently traveling from Switzerland to Austria and stopped for a toilet break.

His team-mates rushed out of the public conveniences upon discovering that they had to pay to use the facilities.

"Then they turned to me and said, 'This is truly what capitalist society is like.'"



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