“White Elephant” is a term used to describe an expensive waste of money that is kept around anyway because it is symbolic or pretty, like a decaying aircraft carrier, an expensive statue, or a trophy wife. Fortunately for rich men, trophy wives rarely look like white elephants. Unfortunately for North Korea, they’re not rich: North Korea’s white elephant looks like a peanut found in one of Big Brother’s most ominous turds.
The Ryugyong Hotel is the most expensive stupid thing I’ve ever heard of, after Paris Hilton, who is similarly renowned for being something you could sleep in but wouldn’t want to. Except, the Ryugyong never opened itself for business, and never will—the North Koreans got three-quarters finished, spent 2% of their GNP, and quit. 2% of their GNP! There’s people there with no homes and they build a hotel? And look how it turned out—that doesn’t vouch well for the size of their GNP, does it? But the reason they stopped was because the country ran out of concrete. The country. Ran out. Of concrete.
Let’s think about this. They could have fed people, they could have saved lives, but failing that, they could have at least built something awesome! Or something that would actually be used. But no, they built a hotel in North Korea—a country known only for the fact that people can’t go there. That’s like building a dildo shop in the Vatican, an abortion clinic in South Dakota, a water park in the Yukon or a university in Mississippi. How are you going to fill 105 stories with any visitors when you don’t let visitors in, and your own country is sedentary, starving peasants who don’t leave the farm they grew up on because they die there as infants? Naw, it’s okay, let’s build a hotel that dwarfs every other building in the nation. Oh, and don’t forget, I want it to look like a prison. Nothing pulls in the crowds like a correctional facility!
The top of the tower is the best part, though. Originally, it was supposed to have seven spinning restaurants up there, but apparently they discovered in this late day and age that concrete doesn’t swivel, and it shockingly never happened. So instead they opted for the next best thing, which was to never ever take down the construction crane that stands rusting at the top. It looms over Pyongyang like the death star atop this Christmas tree of doom.
Except in Dubai. Dubai is fucking AWESOME.
Not only will it never be finished, it began decaying as soon as it was built. They didn’t just use concrete. They used especially ugly concrete. And, as it turns out, ugly concrete is also crappy concrete. Imagine the illegitimate lovechild between a parking garage and George Orwell. Now imagine that lovechild hooked up to a lung machine and colostomy bag. Only, North Korea couldn’t figure out which way to attach the tubes.
Yeah, you can thank me for that imagery later. In the meantime, enjoy your stay. Cause you’re in North Korea, hell if you’re ever leaving.
Content was originally created by Tanzmetall and a truncated version of it was published by readme.