Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Well, it's not all perfect...

The horror stories that filled my inbox from people arriving in Sochi to find their rooms in disarray and nothing as they expected, had me a little wary when I set out on this journey, but for the most part, I can’t complain about my situation.
The hot water worked, the electricity worked, there were towels, sheets and a shower curtain. The bed was small, but that’s not the end of the world. So far there has been just one morning when the hot water didn’t work. I’d say that’s a pretty good ratio.
However, there have been a few other issues that have caused me some problems in my time here.
First and foremost is the internet situation. I paid for an internet package that included wired and wireless access in the media centers and the venues. It stated clearly that you can’t be using the wireless and the wired at the same time and only one device can be logged in at a time.
I have no problem with this, as my account is password protected and that does give it a little security.
There is also a media wi-fi signal available in the media centers and the venues. I’ve found that connecting in the venues is easier using that shared signal than with my paid signal, but connecting in the media center is much faster with my wired internet. But it seems the internet can be hit or miss at times. Some days the media wi-fi works great, other days, such as this morning, the purchased wired internet keeps going in and out. I know in the grand scheme of things this is just a small problem, but when I’m trying to put together eight papers half a world away, I need the access.
The other big issue I’ve had is with the laundry service at the media center. I didn’t have quite enough clothes to make it through the entire trip, so on Monday morning I dropped off a load of laundry and paid for it. The woman told me it would be ready in two days and I had to pick it up in the evening hours. Being as Wednesday was the only time I had evening hours free, I figured this was perfect.
Last night, I went to the facility and the first woman I encountered just said it wasn’t ready and pointed to the sign that read three days. She didn’t seem to care that the slip I had said two days. Thankfully, the second woman was much more helpful and explained the situation. She even went out in the hallway to get an interpreter to make sure the communication was clear. Evidently they had a problem with the machine and the laundry wasn’t done. It would be ready the next day. I still haven’t gone downstairs and checked yet. If it’s not ready, I am going to be in trouble pretty soon.
The other problem we had was with the TM10 bus between the mountains and the coast. They moved the bus inside the clean zone early in the Games, but twice during that period we were dropped off in the middle of the road, not at a bus stop, not at a security checkpoint, nothing. Just in the middle of the road, with cars driving by. And one of those times, the driver got completely lost and had to turn around in a tight spot before finally getting help from one of the passengers in finding the destination.
But, I am well aware things could be worse.

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