Last night I was in Pyongyang. I needed to find Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code, to explain to him what makes a good suspense book versus a good suspense movie. My sidekick (whom I didn't know, as in all good suspense fiction) and I ran through the empty streets of the massive city, dodging under overhangs and flattening ourselves against skyscrapers to escape view from black government helicopters.
We found Dan Brown in a park. I explained to him that suspense works better as a book, because in movies, the sound track gives away whether someone is a good guy or a bad guy. Covert message delivered, we ran back through the streets of Pyongyang to our car, again dodging to evade Kim Jong Il's helicopters.
We had stashed money in our car, wads of wide green bills. When we reached the car, the bills were gone, replaced by useless North Korean pennies. We fled, knowing that government operatives had been in the car and it was no longer safe.
We needed to acquire a guanabana soda as a sign of goodwill to the Brazilian spies up north. The better part of our money gone, we checked our wallets to make sure we had enough cash to buy the soda. We set out on foot, running, evading helicopters, toward the northern edge of the city. Ahead we saw the two Brazilians, looking very hip in their black outfits. We had the soda---
The alarm went off. I felt more tired than I had when I went to bed.
4 months ago