I’ve had my fair share of surreal meals in Myanmar, but Friday’s meal at’ Pyongyang Koryo Resturant is definitely up there as one of the weirdest…
I rocked up with some friends to be greeted by a line of ten physique-identical North Korean girls. They were all the same height, without an inch of fat on them. Their outfits were carbon copies even down to duplicated earrings, necklace and hair ties.
We were the first people to arrive, there was an echoed silence as our voices bounced off the walls, attempting, yet failing, to fill the colossal establishment and banish the eerie vacancy within.
The food is good but pricey, and ,as expected, a lot of kimchi on the menu.
In continuity with their matching gear they all had the same mannerisms; mechanical almost robotic movements. It felt like we were on the set of ‘Stepford Wives.’
By 7.30pm the place was packed out; there are other rooms off the main room also filled to the brim with tables and satisfied customers. At the stroke of 8 we realized why everyone had already been fed. The stage at the front ,which had been lit up all evening with a rotating kaleidoscope of pastel colours, was stormed by a group of the waitresses who burst on in a flurry of instruments, microphones and taffeta. It turns out all of them are hugely talented musicians, freely swapping from the flute, to the keyboard to the accordion, alongside having jaw-droppingly good voices whilst dancing. The end of one song and beginning of the next could be distinguished by a new set of costumes and dancing girls.
It screams the question: who are these lean, musically talented group of identical puppet-like girls? There are rumours that they’ve been under house arrest since ’84, so they’ve had plenty of time to learn to play instruments. For some other theories on what they might be doing here, have a look at Mizzima’s article: ‘North Korean kimchi, not missiles, for sale in Rangoon‘.
Go, and let us know who you think these intriguing waitresses could be.
Excuse the lack of photos, the establishment is peppered with signs prohibiting photographs…