Serendipity is a beautiful thing.
A few weeks ago I asked the network for the most high-tech way to buy a suit.
Rasul Sha'ir (here's his TEDx talk) pointed me to itailor.com
I figured...what the heck. Go for it. So with the help of Nadia (age 9), we took the measurements and went a bit crazy in the customizations.
I was nervous that it wouldn't work, but the suit showed up 3 weeks later and it's pretty solid.
As it turns out, we messed up on a few of the measurements (not so surprising), so I took it to the dry cleaner/tailor near my house.
It's owned by Koreans where the English isn't so great, which is fine, but when I dropped it off, they saw the issue, made the marks and I thought I was set.
But, I wasn't.
They called me about 90 minutes later and began telling me something. The thing is...despite all of my efforts, I couldn't figure out what they were saying.
So, even though I didn't want to go back, I had to.
As today is my birthday, I've been lucky to get a bunch of phone calls from people all over the world.
As luck would have it, at the EXACT moment when I walked in through the door of the dry cleaners, I got a call from a JHU classmate, Nelson Lee.
After we said a quick hello, I had a brainflashs.
"Hey wait, Nelson, you're Korean, right?"
"Do you speak Korean?"
"Can I ask for a birthday gift?"
At which point, I put Nelson on speaker and he did real-time translation of what the tailor (an elderly Korean gentlemen) was saying and what I responded.
Now, thanks to Nelson's birthday call and his on the fly Korean real-time translation, my bespoke suit should look sharp.
The more I think about it, the more I can't get over the fact that, at the precise moment that I needed Korean language skills, someone with Korean language skills called me.
Total proof of God's existence. ;-)
Or, as my brother said, it's "Korean-as-a-service."