In the process of writing my thesis I found a commentary on the difference between 19th century life in northern and southern Korea. It struck me as amusing and something that you might get a proper chuckle out of:
“the traveller is impressed in the North by the independent, manly spirit of many of the mountain people. A man seems to be more of a man in the North than in the South. In looking for causes of this I find it in the marked absence of the so-called “gentleman” class. In the South the independent middle class is apt to be crushed out between the upper and the nether mill stones, between the strutting, conceited “yangban” and the obsequious, cringing serf. The North is brighter with hope because of the predominance of an independent middle class, who have to work for their own living, and as a result have more muscle and more brains.” William Baird, 1894.