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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Korean Chill

The Korean winter work trip is tip toeing closer and I have been preparing for it since the time I booked my tickets. Preparations have been 'mentally' mostly. I have been psyching myself up by speaking about minus 10 as the temperature. Exciting and scaring me, both together.
Well, little bit about my experience of cold weather for a background. I have been living in this hot and humid city Mumbai for over 10 years and before that few years in Madras(Now Chennai), which is similar to Mumbai more or less, which means Winter is not a season there aswell. I spent 3 years in between in Kolkata where the temperature dips to 7-8 minimum. My memories of Delhi Winter has faded off. I was a kid when I was living in the foggy cold Delhi. So, get my drift? No preparation is good enough preparation, as I do not know what to expect. I am smiling to myself and looking forward to the harsh cold subzero temperature of Seoul. I have been told that it shocks people before one starts to enjoy it.
Buying minus acclimatized clothes was not a very wise plan to start with, as I will not get to wear them often. However, thinking of it practically I have really no choice. I plan to stay warm and outdoors. I plan to stay not inside the hotel / conference room, except of course apart from work hours. I plan to take that shuttle bus from the hotel to Myeong-dong and explore what’s new on Korean fashion and beauty world. Just for the record. It is a different world when we talk about Korean cosmetics. Innovations and advanced technologies arrive there a decade before it touches any other parts of the world. The Korean women are flawless and most of them have 10 step regime everyday. It’s just not cleanse – tone – moisturize system. A great deal of discipline, must say.
Coming back to what have I been doing to step up for this fashionable country in the harshest of winter? Here is how and what…
Boots: Mumbai usually stocks up open shoes and stilettos round the year. But, you may find some good leather boots in selected stores. I picked the snug high boots. With some warm layering inside hoping that, my feet will be warm and I will be fine.as they say, keep the feet, head and ears warm to beat the bitter chill.  Well, I would have been happier if I had those in insulated ones.
Thermals: I have stacked few in my suitcase, incase if I have to layer even that. I might buy few more from Uniqlo.The heat retaining thermals called Heattech. This technology has Camellia oil infused in the innerwear that keeps the skin smooth and supple during harsh weather. Now this is something to try out, right?
Stockings: Warm ones, I had picked it up in Japan. I used it outdoors when Japan showered snow in flurries. Walked the roads of Kyoto in those stockings under my ankle length boots and woolen dress. I have also worn these under my shorts in the snow peak Alps at Mt. Jungfrau
Sweaters and Overcoats: Layering is the key. Period…I have been advised by my Korean colleague. She says the winter is mild this year. It is only minus 5 today. Ah! I think it should be good:) I cannot visualize the fittings of these overcoats upon layering. How will I walk with so many clothes on me? You see the worry.
Headgear: My father-in law visited me from a cold city of India and I found the Russian round fur hat with him. Oh! I am so taking it with me. My brother gave me his beanie to cover my ears and sister –in – law passed on her woolen cap. Few mufflers and I think I should be fashion ready too with them.



Boroline: This is going with me to avoid all the chapped and dry skin. Korean winters is dry and windy. All right, yes! Boroline is my saviors too



And, final dash of keeping warm in winter for me is food. I am looking forward to some Korean food. Some hot stew and barbeque, some street style fish breads, Some Soju and Khimchi and some good company. I should be good to go.
What I donot have and I will surely need them are mittens and woolen socks and some hot heating patches to stick on my innerwear or carry them in my pockets. Actually, I am eager to land in Incheon and feel the minus weather.
I will be landing in minus 10 from plus 25 on 17th January. I am sure it will be a great experience. Will share later if the preparations worked.
P.S: I plan to condition my mind to believe the cold in Korea is bearable. Fingers crossed, hoping this will work. I read it somewhere “No Winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn”. So I plan to make hay while the sun shines, make stories, write them down, make it all worth-it. Happy January you all.

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