Saturday, February 10, 2018

Early comparisons...

Day number one is partially in the books and there’s a few areas where PyeongChang is vastly superior to Sochi, at least so far.
The first area is the wi-fi coverage. Pretty much everywhere I go, I am able to use wi-fi on my phone or my iPad or my laptop. On the buses, in the venues, in the media center, even in my apartment. Korea really stepped up the game as far as Internet access and I am impressed. I bought a SIM card for my phone, but so far haven’t used it, as I am able to access most of my text messages with wi-fi.
There were times in Russia when I couldn’t even access the Internet in the media center while plugged into the port. I did run into one problem, however. I purchased a wired internet package for use in the media center only to realize that my laptop does not accept normal Ethernet cords. While I don’t mind the wireless, for transferring bigger files back to the United States I was counting on using the wired Internet. There are adaptors available, but evidently they aren’t exactly the easiest thing to find in Korea.
The other area that Korea stepped up in is the food. While I’ve only had two meals here so far (it’s 5 p.m. on Saturday as I write this), the choices are certainly superior to what we had in Sochi.
The main media dining hall in Gangneung is a short walk from my apartment and is massive. Their breakfast choices had everything from the normal eggs, pancakes, bacon and potatoes that we’d find in the US to Korean dishes including beef and rice. There were also plenty of choices for fruit and cereal as well as breads and pastries. In Sochi, I rarely ate breakfast because the choices were so awful.
I had lunch in the Main Press Center in the Alpensia Resort. I chose the cafeteria for my first lunch, but walking around the resort, there were tons of choices of things to eat, ranging from Korean and Japanese restaurants to American standards like Domino’s Pizza and Baskin-Robbins.
I was even able to purchase a bottle of Mountain Dew, which was nowhere to be found in Sochi four years ago (though I will not be making this a habit).
As in Sochi, bottled water continues to be my friend. The apartment supplies us with a couple of bottles every day and the Main Press Center had free bottles for media members and I purchased a larger bottle to have on hand too.
One event and two meals down and things are going OK. Here’s to continued success.

 The interior of the Main Media Dining Room.

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