There is a whole lot of drama surrounding the winter Olympics in Sochi this year. Everything from terrorist attack warnings to threats of kidnappings to unfinished hotel rooms with toilets that warn against flushing toilet paper. I guess the old saying comes to play here…When in Rome, do as the Romans. When we dig a little deeper into the culture of some of the Olympic host cities it should be enough to make us reconsider the tradition of traveling around the globe in the name of competition.
In spite of reports of Sochi not being adequately prepared to host this event, they have been busy cleaning up their streets for upcoming visitors. Apparently, Sochi streets are riddled with hundreds and hundreds of stray (starving) dogs that could put visitors at risk. Their answer to this dilemma? They hired the pest control company that has been killing stray dogs in Sochi for years to exterminate even more of the animals in preparation of, and throughout the Olympics. I wonder how many smart phones will capture those Kodak moments? Welcome to Sochi!
Before you put Russia on your bad list for cruelty to animals, you should know that Beijing had a similar problem (and “clean up” regime) when they hosted the Olympics. Thousands and thousands of disease-ridden stray cats roamed the streets of Beijing and their officials knew that this would be a problem for Americans. Their answer to this dilemma? An aggressive drive to clean up the streets by capturing the stray cats and carting them off to be “disposed of”. Knowing that locals have been known to beat cats to death with baseball bats to keep them away from their children makes me hope for a more civil means of disposing of the diseased cats in the name of the Olympics. Welcome to Beijing!
Lots of people who traveled to Beijing to participate in the Olympics carted their own masks to protect them from harmful air pollution that China is known for. It looks like Sochi visitors should have brought their own water. Hotels are warning visitors not to use the water on their face because it contains “harmful chemicals that may burn the skin” as if their water has a radar that only zones in on faces. What about the rest of you?
I’m assuming that visitors won’t dare to drink Sochi water that is so filled with chemicals that it would “burn the skin” but you just never know what people will do. Americans don’t seem to have a problem drinking water that they have been warned about for years so they should feel right at home in Sochi…minus the mass murder of dogs, that is.
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