By Kristine Bearss
Countless controversies are circling the drain in regards to the accommodations in Sochi for this year’s Winter Olympics.
From water you are advised not to use “because it contains something very dangerous,” to bizarre seating placed directly behind toilet bowls, to bees literally packaged inside honey packets, there will be a whole new onslaught of crazy Russian jokes that surround this event. (In Russia, you don’t use bathroom – bathroom uses you!)
A couple of photos that have gone viral have been proven to be hoaxes, but this does not answer for the waterfall of Tweets, Snapchats and Facebook posts by reporters, visitors and Olympians who have all been more than willing to share their Russian survival stories.
Perhaps it was the packs of wild dogs. Perhaps it was the side-by-side toilet situation, but the Internet did not take a gentle approach when informing Russia’s hospitality committee that the rest of the world is accustomed to going number two alone.
Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, who was responsible for the Olympic preparations, was admittedly outraged by this response.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Kozak tried deflecting the whole situation by boldly
claiming that Western reporters were deliberately trying to make Sochi look bad by making up the recent news reports.
“We have surveillance video from the hotels that shows people turn on the shower, direct the nozzle at the wall and then leave the room for the whole day,” Kozak said.
If you think about his statement, it makes you really wonder exactly where the cameras are located.
Later in the week, spokesman for Kozak, Ilya Dzhus, retracted the statement on behalf of Kozak.
He assured the public that there were absolutely no surveillance cameras in hotel rooms or bathrooms. Furthermore, he stated that of the 100,000 journalists rooming in the brand new media center, that they have only had 103 registered complaints.
Kozak never clarified what constituted a registered complaint. Since then, there have been new reports from different Olympians who have been surprised that they had doorknobs on all their doors.
I suppose if you have really low standards, people’s expectations go right down with them. It’s an interesting concept to consider. So, the next time it takes you 10 minutes to ride the elevator from the second floor to your dorm floor in the Wabash, just be grateful that you do not have to walk up 20 flights of stairs everyday, only to be greeted with bathrooms with two side-by-side toilets and only one surveillance camera.