Just Tourists Here

Seoul, 1990:  At 42, I was the youngest in our tour group by at least a decade.  Korean soldiers waved down our bus, and the driver nervously told our guide that an international incident had just occurred.  An armed soldier boarded and walked down the aisle, scrutinizing each of us in turn. Scowling, he disembarked without a word.  Rifles were not a part of our sheltered civilian life.

As our bus pulled away, I glanced out the window at a small group of grim-faced soldiers on the sidewalk.  One of them suddenly crouched down, scooped up a handful of snow, and tossed a snowball at his comrades.  They turned and transformed into schoolboys with shouts and laughter.

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