I'm spending the entire day Tuesday at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park in the Caucasus Mountains, covering Minnesota slopestyle skier Keri Herman in the morning/early afternoon and men's snowboard halfpipe at night. Late at night. Photographer Carlos Gonzalez and I left the hotel at 6:20 this morning to catch a bus up here, and the halfpipe finals don't even start until 9:30 p.m. I'm betting I won't get back to town until at least 2 a.m. and probably later.
Which means I'm at the mercy of whatever food they're offering in the media center snack bar and the venue concession stands. We have not had a meal in a restaurant since the first day we were in Russia; we're each covering a couple of events per day, attending press conferences, writing feature stories, taking long bus rides, etc. There's just no time--and no place nearby, anyway--for a sit-down meal.
The food in the media centers has been generally horrible. Just to prove I am not overstating this, here are the sandwiches being sold in the Rosa Khutor press room today. And they're only $6!
My options outside: a hot dog (as the sign says, 'Manhattan style with pickled cucumber and crispy onions, or Brooklyn style with cheese sauce and fried bacon') or Russian pancakes, called blinis. They're like crepes, and you can get them with sweet fillings (jam or chocolate) or savories such as ham, cheese or mushrooms. I've had them at breakfast, and they're yummy. Since these are being sold at a concession tent, they're not top-of-the-line, but they'll do.
Breakfast at the media village is quite good. The blinis are served with sour cream and cherry jam, which I'm told is a Caucasian/Georgian specialty. There are baked eggs, yogurt (served in really liquid form, in the kind of dispenser we usually see used for lemonade or tea), oatmeal, sausages, breads and fruit. There are also cold cuts, sliced cheeses, sliced cucumber and tomatoes, and steamed vegetables. Here's my plate from a few days ago.
Breakfast is served at the Hockey Sport Bar, a big heated tent where the Euro-disco music is always blaring and journos from the harder-drinking countries are imbibing at all hours. It's decorated with photos of the Russian and USSR men's hockey teams. Absent: any photos of the Miracle on Ice. There is only one photo in the joint that is not of a Russian. It's of Canadian Sidney Crosby, after scoring the goal that beat the US in the gold-medal game of the Vancouver Olympics.
Here's what it looks like.
And finally: Just in case you thought Russians didn't have a sense of humor, here is a sign reminding people not to flush toilet paper down the toilet (a common request here, which is another story altogether). This is in the bathroom at Rosa Khutor.