The tab for the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games, the most expensive in history, has topped $50 billion, but tweets from reporters arriving early in the Russian resort town suggest some infrastructure may be incomplete or lacking to western standards.
As is always the case when traveling to other countries, native customs are bound to be surprising and different. Some of Sochi's early surprises, like signage, can be attributed to that, while others suggest construction that is behind schedule. Through a series of mostly humorous Twitter posts, journalists have made light of double-toilets, yellow drinking water, and the lack of locks on doors or bulbs in light fixtures.
Yahoo!'s Dan Wetzel penned a column describing some of the quirks he found upon arrival. With a few things lacking in his hotel, Wetzel took to Twitter to attempt to barter.
To anyone in Sochi: I am now in possession of three light bulbs. Will trade for a door handle. This offer is real: pic.twitter.com/7AeesqDi8Y— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) February 4, 2014
Wetzel's colleague, hockey writer Greg Wyshynski, was surprised by a sign on a bathroom door forbidding the discarding of toilet paper in the, well, toilet.
People have asked me what surprised me the most here in Sochi. It's this. Without question ... it's ... THIS. pic.twitter.com/1jj05FNdCP— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) February 4, 2014
Then there's this interesting rooming situation for the Canadian men's hockey team:
Water appears to be a theme around which many of these tweets have been based. Some reporters complained of no hot water, of not being able to drink tap water, or even being warned that washing your face with the tap water was a bad idea. And then there was this tweet from Stacy St. Clair of the Chicago Tribune:
Early reactions to Sochi have ranged from serious (killing of stray dogs) to light-hearted. National Post columnist Bruce Arthur, who's a fantastic Twitter follow, by the way, captured some of the more humorous moments of his trip: