Whilst this crocus was celebrating its arrival in my garden yesterday, the last preparations were being made for the Vladimir Putin Show Winter Olympics 2014.
Switzerland is a Winter Sport country, although this year the snow seems to have immigrated to the States. Vladimir Putin is hoping that it will also immigrate to Russia as the place he chose for his “I had a dream” concept is not really famous for constant snow. If you are lucky it will snow and if you are not lucky, then the Russian workers will have to move the snow from other parts of the country and cover the ski slopes manually. The area of Sochi is not well known for its constant snowfalls: more unpredictable weather situations. There is no need to worry, everything will be done, even if at the last minute, which is the general Russian philosophy.
The mayor of Sochi, Anatoly Pakhomov, has assured everyone that his town is ideal for the Winter Games. He has a lot of problems to solve, but no-one wants to disappoint Mr. Putin (or Russia for that matter) and no matter what, Sochi will be swamped in snow if necessary. It will definitely not be swamped in unwanted people dogs, they are suddenly disappearing from the streets, no longer to be seen, although I read it is only the unhealthy dogs that are being disposed of. No mention of stray cats, thank goodness. My three felines were worried when they read the reports.
There was a small problem, when building the various stadiums in Sochi, that a few houses slid down slopes, due to the dumping of building material for the stadiums. The inhabitants were told that their crumbling houses would be replaced. Unfortunately the authorities did not say when and how. A few families lived on the streets for a while, but were soon rehoused in one or two rooms. Perhaps not the same size and standard as it was originally, but we are sure Vladimir Putin will eventually supply these homeless people with suitable lodgings.
In the meanwhile let us be happy. I heard it was a fantastic opening ceremony (which seems to be more important than the actual games). It also seems that these games have cost more money than any others up to now. This is no problem: they will definitely remain in the memory of the Russian citizens, those that work for a handful of roubles, if they have a job.
I heard that some members of some of the Olympic teams taking part are having medical problems with the food, or was it the water. I am not sure, but the sportsmen have now been told not to drink the water from the tap, but rather buy it bottled – I wonder why.
My report on these games is not really to be taken seriously. I am not an authority and am not there, did not buy a ticket, and probably will not be watching on the television. I have something more interesting to do. I am not actually boycotting the whole thing, but I prefer to watch my crocus growing in the garden.