Can North Koreans play table tennis?

2019-05-09T10:34:01+00:00

On one of our tours to North Korea, we arrived fairly late at the hotel the first evening. It was therefore decided that we should stay on the hotel the first evening. This gave us the opportunity to use some of all the facilities the hotel had.

The great event of the evening became table tennis, where we played a game of round the table so that everyone in the group could particpate at once. Personally I remember that I was the best player and won (almost) everytime. Of course some of the other partipants my question this.

We played in a small and cosy room, where there also were a bar. This bar was managed by a north korean women, which smiled and talked to us. She looked admiring at os when we ran around the table.

After a few hours of play, we decided that it was about time to go to bed and we all headed towards our rooms. On the way to the elevator, my roomie Kevin discovered that he forgot his jacket. We therefore went back to the table tennis room to find the jacket.

In the room, we found the women who had managed the bar and started cleaning the room. We said hi and told her that we only came back to pick the forgotten jacket. It did not last many seconds until the woman has challenged us to a game of talbe tennis. She also suggested that the winner should recieve a piece of chocalte (bought in the bar) from the loser.

As I, as mentioned, thought that I was a fairly good table tennis player and Kevin had the same perception of his own skills, we of course accepted the challenge. Not in our wildest fantasy, we could imagine that we would ever lose. Kevin started and I played second round against the women from the bar.

After two short games against each one of us, we had learned our lesson. She had beaten us. The women kept smiling and told us that we were really good (Of course that is easy to say when you just kicked someones butt).

Personally, I could not understand what had just happened. As you can imagine at this point, I'm also a really bad loser.. And as agreed we had to buy the women some chocolate from the bar.

That is the story of how we learned that north koreans can play table tennis. We actually learned that they play really well. This first evening I had in North Korea,  ended up being one of the main reasons why I wanted to return - After such a defeat, I need to have a rematch and I have therefore started my pratice. If you are up for the challenge or just want to watch the next game between me and the women from the bar, then join our next tour to North Korea. Until then, the women from the bar will have the bragging rights on her side.

About the Author:

Jonas har rejst til Nordkorea mange gange og har siden sit første besøg følt at Nordkorea er meget mere end krig, atomvåben og Kim Jong Un. Derfor forsøger Jonas altid at fortælle sine oplevelser med udgangspunkt i menneskerne og befolkningen i Nordkorea. Du kan læse meget mere om Jonas her