On location at the Winter Games in South Korea
Posted February 6, 2018 8:46 p.m. EST
Updated July 13, 2018 3:20 p.m. EDT
This morning began with an alert on my phone from the BBC with the story of increased safety preparedness by the South Koreans.
There would be alarms and drills today and tonight. News of the Chinese Army moving 300,000 troops near the North Korean border does get one’s attention, yet as we heard yesterday at the DMZ, “do not worry, we have your back, do not worry.”
I took their advice, answered emails, checked in with the newsroom 7,000 miles away and was prepared to begin my day with a smile and confidence. The operative word there, prepared. What I had not prepared for was that Murphy was alive and well in my shower.
We are in a new complex of many new high rise apartments, affordable housing for the locals once we’re gone. The South Korean government built these apartments, and while somewhat Spartan, they’re represent very nice temporary housing for more than a thousand journalists and staff. My building houses between 250-300 people. Clean, efficient, great views, a laundry we can use, and a boiler for hot water. Ah, a boiler. Should be plenty for everyone...right? Not exactly.
You know the drill. Hot water, creative thoughts, maybe even singing off key, hair thoroughly lathered and then it happens. With very little warning or fanfare, water turns tepid, then ice. NO!!!! This cannot be happening!
My screams go unheard and the rain forest shower head could care less. The RED dot indicating heat doesn't care that it’s 12 degrees outside, that inside the wall temp gauge reads 19 Celsius, 66.2 Fahrenheit, or that my towel has been moved out of my reach no doubt by my friend Murphy.
OK, this is NOT a third world problem, I get that. But what a way to start the day! Maybe another reminder, we are here in an area where people live life somewhere between being on alert and sometimes fearful, hot water is the least of their problems.
Let these games begin. Let’s be happy with all we have and cheer on our athletes who have worked so hard to be here. Win or lose, they are HERE! They’ve made it.
As my new friend from Wallace, NC, Staff Sgt. Brice proclaimed yesterday, “carpe diem, sir, carpe diem.” Seize it before it seizes you.