Pyeongchang Winter Olympics
Due to a series of slightly odd events, I recently found myself on a 10-hour flight to South Korea with 4 strangers.
We were being flown out as part of a team of tailors to help Ralph Lauren kit out Team USA for the Opening and Closing ceremonies at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
Since it was -12 degrees, the clever team at Ralph Lauren found a way to heat the jackets using a battery pack hidden away in one of the pockets. This involved wires being hidden inside the coat which meant that there weren't a lot of possible alterations on them. So together with the help of some speedy and incredibly talented Korean tailors and a makeshift atelier in a Hotel conference room, we managed to get through over 300 Athletes and Coaches in pretty good time.
Which left plenty of time for exploring Seoul and more importantly finding out what actual Korean BBQ is like. (It's amazing).
Seoul is a funny city- it's one of those places which looks completely different at night than during the day. Although maybe this is true of all capital cities... Every single building in Seoul has bright neon lights outside it, even the small coffee shops so at night, particularly in the snow, it looks quite magical and futuristic. But because all these lights have gone up quite recently a lot of the wiring is on the outside which makes it look a little less magical in the light of day.
It's definitely one of the most high-tech places I've ever been. Every loo seat is heated and comes with a control panel. It took 2 days before any of us found one with English translations so the first day out there was mostly spent daring each other to risk the one which looked as though it should probably be administered by someone with a medical degree.
The food was delicious, the city was friendly and welcoming, the work was straightforward and the US volunteers and team were as peppy and enthusiastic as you would imagine. All in all it was a wonderful fortnight and I would thoroughly recommend Seoul to anyone who might find themselves in that part of the world.
Plus the Winter Olympics is so much more interesting now that I know the difference between Luge and Skeleton.
So thanks Ralph Lauren. I had a blast