Stanford-topia, forever

by daniel on November 10, 2012

in Stanford

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The final days of my time in America have been spent where it started. Four years ago I arrived at Stanford as a bewildered 19 year old, amazed and intimidated by American culture. Returning again to spend a few quiet days before returning to Singapore to join the police has been an opportunity to reflect on the formative years spent here.

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North Korea: Epilogue

December 27, 2011

On the last night of our visit, we were taken to Pyongyang’s supposedly famous “Number 1 Duck Barbecue“. With one minor problem: the raw meat we were given to grill was not duck, but tasted suspiciously like beef …

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War Museum + USS Pueblo

December 27, 2011

The tour brought us to Pyongyang’s War Museum, as well as the captured USS Pueblo. The Americans in the group were faced with the awkward position of listening to the North Korean guide at the War Museum (a pretty young …

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A school in Pyongyang

December 27, 2011

We visited an elementary school in Pyongyang. One of the attractions was a “science lab” that featured rusted microscopes neatly lined up on lab tables. Each table featured a pencil box with 2 pencils of exactly the same length, and …

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A ride on the Pyongyang Metro

December 27, 2011

We got to take a “rush hour” ride on the Pyongyang Metro, that was advertised as allowing us to see “real life” in Pyongyang. It started with us taking the longest escalator I had ever seen into the depths of …

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Cult of Personality

December 27, 2011

One of the weirdest parts of the trip was visiting the Kim il Sung Mausoleum. It used to be his official palace till his death, upon which it was sealed and turned into a mausoleum. Upon entering, we surrendered …

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Bowling in Pyongyang

December 27, 2011

One of the trip’s most “what the f***” moments was visiting a bowling alley. We visited Pyongyang Gold Lane, a full multiple-lane bowling alley that was (according to our guides) one of North Korea’s most popular weekend spots. What we saw …

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Entering Pyongyang + Hotel

December 25, 2011

Our bus traveled along a wide and empty road, into Pyongyang. Our tour guide ran through the list of do’s and don’ts: no photography without permission, no photography from the bus, no wandering off from the group. The road from …

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Journey to the Hermit Kingdom: North Korea

November 28, 2011

Took the opportunity to go to North Korea over Thanksgiving break.  My interest in the hermit kingdom had been piqued over the summer: I met a guy in Boston whose parents had escaped in the mid-80s, and listened to their …

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Changing Majors: 2 years on

September 5, 2011

In a blink of an eye, 2 years have passed since I made the decision to switch out of Economics as a major. Since then, it has been a long path that has seen me unofficially switch majors 7 …

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