I had my tickets for South Korea with the Singapore Airlines. Prior to my trip, I had no idea about how the flight would be and what food they would serve me. But to my surprise, I was able to select Indian food during my check-in. When I sat down in my seat, I was surprised to see Indian movies and music on their entertainment list. I wasn't thrilled about these things on my way to Seoul since I left home from DC. It was a great moment of sigh, when my return flight had Indian food and Indian entertainment. After all my hardships in Olympics, these things made me miss my mom's food and my home in India.
My food experience in South Korea was not a experience I hoped. Since I had my dietary restrictions, food was always a problem. Everytime I had to order food in a restaurant or eat food at the workforce lounge, I had to ask someone what went into the preparation of the food. But once I got the hang of it, I was able to survive the challenge. These pictures are some of my meals which were made especially for me. Apart from this reason, the food was delicious otherwise. Eventhough I had the luxury of eating free meals at the workforce lounge, sometimes I sneaked out for a cheesy food. My best meal out of all my meals in South Korea, would be the one in Haslla Art World. It was a sponsered lunch from one of our GW students' parents. I am forever thankful for David's parents for inviting all the students to lunch.
Visiting the country houses was one of my favorites at the Olympics. These country houses offered a range of activities and experiences from learning about the culture, enjoying the native and specialty foods and beverages, opportunities to meet and greet athletes and in few cases current medalists and more importantly stores for purchasing team gear and souvenirs. Each house was unique on their own because the activities/events offered were different and some of the houses were closed to the public. I visited all the country houses which were open to the public and few others which were exclusive to members only. Of all the houses I visited, Holland Heineken house, The Czech house, Austria house, House of Switzerland and Casa Italia were my favorites.
We met Yang Yang while we were getting our uniforms at MPC.Yang Yang was the most famous Winter Sports female athletes in China and she is in her eighth year as IOC athlete member which is her last year.She is also the Chair of Athletes Commission of 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.Couldnt believe my eyes when i first saw her.
GS25 was the closest convenient store to our accommodation. More than being a convenient store, it was a savior to me. The people who worked in the store (first picture) were the saviors. It was difficult to get around for anything since most of the people in Korea didn't speak English. These people helped me with a lot of things especially getting a cab. I can't imagine how I could have survived without these people. I am sure I would have survived without these people perhaps in the hardest way possible. Due to my dietary restrictions, I needed help everytime I bought something from the store. I was able to communicate through both writings and speaking slowly for them to understand me better. On the last day, I wanted to click a picture with them as a memory to treasure. Since I couldn't find them that day, I asked my friend to click a picture the next day. I heard from my friend that they were so happy that I wanted a picture of them. Now I have the picture to treasure all my memories.
Casa Italia, one of the best houses in Olympics 2018. The Italian house was closed for public entry but our professor could get us in for a tour of the house. My experience with Casa Italia was a unique one. As a curious student, I took out my notebook to take notes during the tour. But little did I know, I would lose my notebook at the end of the tour. I was mesmerized by the beauty of the house during the tour and that was the reason I left my notebook behind. Once I found out that I lost my notebook, I contacted both my professor and her graduate assistant for getting my notebook if it was possible. After a fair amount of emails back and forth, my notebook was discovered at Casa Italia. I am really grateful for all the people who helped me in finding my notebook especially my professor, who helped me in picking up the notebook as well.
I am sure every one of us would accept that getting a cab and explaining the address was the toughest job in our time at South Korea. Almost none of the cab drivers could speak English or even understand the address when communicated. We got help from the locals to write the address of our accommodation in Korean for the taxi drivers. I tried using the taxi apps but I was never successful in getting a cab through the app. So, I was using the old school method (waving at an empty cab) to get a cab whenever I needed one. I met this wonderful lady on my way back from work who spoke English fluently and understood every word of mine. I didn't have the need to show the Korean translation of our accommodation. I made casual conversation with her during my ride and there are only few cab drivers who are female. What a shame!
Ticket sales have exceeded expectations. POCOG's goal was to sell 80% of available tickets. They exceeded that by 120% when the Games opened.
I have bought tickets to a few events, but POCOG has started allowing those with credentials to attend for free. If a ticket holder arrives, we need to find another empty seat. But so far it has worked out that I haven't had to move.
I have attended curling and ice hockey this way. I didn't attend the events I bought tickets for, but am sure someone else claimed my seat, so I consider it a wash.
Admittedly, it has been a bit slow with my volunteer shifts, so this is another nice peek for the volunteers.
I was able to join three volunteers at the Biathlon Centre to interact with student groups.
I thought there would be more of a program (explain the sport, practice English, etc.) with respect to accompanying them. But we were there to encourage them to cheer on the athletes.
There were several groups we visited throughout the stands.
It was a nice day, and the first of several warm days. The past 2 it has been in the upper 50s/lower 60s. It is supposed to rain today (Thursday), but then start cooling off again this weekend. Not ideal conditions for snow sports.