Is This the First Digital Image of a North Korean In-Flight Meal?
This is an airline meal. It's not just any airline meal, however; it's a piece of digital imaging and travel history and it was only created this morning.
David Guttenfelder, Chief Photographer in Asia for the AP, is currently in North Korea on assignment and taking advantage of the newly un-banned 3G network to share some Instagrams from daily life, like this seemingly banal image of his in-flight meal on North Korea's state airline, Air Koryo.
We say "seemingly banal," because it's in fact incredibly interesting. For one, has there ever been another digital image like this, instantly shared from an Air Koryo plane, location-tagged to Pyongyang's Airport? The answer is "kind of," as Guttenfelder also posted another of his Air Koryo meals (view the meal & view the plane) 29 weeks ago, but done after the fact and without a geotag.
On another level, note that even in economy class on the bare bones North Korean airline, passengers are treated to complimentary meals including a handwipe, fresh fruit, a hot entree, and some sort of sweet cake. Now remember that free meals are a thing of the past for US airlines, and even passengers on the pricey, 11-hour nonstop United flight from Newark to Honolulu get nothing but basic beverages for free.
Now, we're not saying to go fly Air Koryo and vacation in Pyongyang versus Hawaii. Hardly. Nonetheless it is (literal) food for thought.
Read more on Guttenfelder's ability to file photos from North Korea over at NPR.
Hmm. We wonder what Dennis Rodman chowed down on during his trip to chill with Kim Jong-un and Vice Magazine last week?