In case you’ve been living under a rock, or in a militaristic nation run by an insane dictator who controls everything in the media, North Korea is a little bit on the “crazy” side.

It’s hard for most of us to imagine just how insane the country is, and we can only feel badly for its average citizens under the rule of a narcissistic wannabe dictator who is desperately trying to befriend NBA stars and launching nuclear missiles that don’t work.

But here are some images taken by a photographer named Eric Lafforgue, which he then smuggled out of the country, that should give you a much better idea of just how bizarre and crazy life in North Korea truly is.

12Soldiers Engage in Manual Labor

Soldiers Engage in Manual Labor

There’s nothing wrong with doing a little manual labor, but given the militaristic reputation of North Korea, it’s extremely bizarre to see photos like this one of a soldier randomly toting wood.

11Poor Children Are Put to Work Early

Poor Children are Put to Work Early

Poverty is rampant in North Korea, and little kids like the ones above are put to work at an early age to help their families just try to scrape by.

10Cars are So Rare that Kids Play in the Street

Cars are So Rare that Kids Play in the Street

Amazingly, cars have never been very prevalent in North Korea, so it’s not unusual to see little kids just playing in the middle of a city street, unaware of the dangers that the steadily growing number of cars presents.

9Soldiers Need to Hitchhike to Get Anywhere

Soldiers Need to Hitchhike to Get Anywhere

Public transportation is basically nonexistent in North Korea, and you actually need a permit to travel around the country. It’s a pretty common sight to see actual, active soldiers needing to hitchhike just to get anywhere.

8Showing Wealth is Strictly Forbidden

Showing Wealth is Strictly Forbidden

Apparently, North Korea is an equal opportunity when it comes to trying to hide both poverty and opulence. You’re not supposed to show off your wealth in North Korea unless of course, you’re Kim Jong Un.

7You Can’t Show Hunger

You Can’t Show Hunger

With poverty comes hunger, and people in North Korea often struggle to find anything to eat. However, it’s not permitted to take any photos of people struggling with hunger, because apparently denial is a very popular thing with the government.

6The Best Supermarkets Are off Limits to Most


And one of the reasons it can be so difficult to get any food is that the top supermarkets in Pyongyang, of which there are two, are only accessed by the elite (those same people who are not allowed to show off their wealth).

5Citizens Can Sometimes be Seen Eating Grass

source: Eating Grass

Yeah, we’re mining this whole “malnutrition” thing and pointing out that it gets so bad that, sometimes, you can see North Koreans picking fistfuls of grass to eat.

4Computers Without Electricity


North Korea likes to show off the fact that they’ve got computers, but most of the time, there’s no electricity to actually power them.

3The Lines For The Bus Are Insane


We mentioned earlier that public transportation is rare. So naturally, where it is available, the lines for the bus are absolutely, ridiculously, ludicrously long.

2And The Buses Don’t Always Work


If you’re lucky enough to get on a bus, there’s a solid chance you’ll have to hop out and push when it inevitably breaks down.

1Bathing Outdoors is Still Common


Most of us take a shower for granted, but it’s incredibly common in North Korea for people to need to head to the local body of water to wash up, which is something you’d never expect in the 21st century.