If you thought public restrooms were bad, look what the Olympians at Sochi have to deal with!

The Olympics have always been a symbol for the brotherhood of man, the glory of competition… and plumbing problems?

As the world turns its attention on Sochi, we’re discovering that the Russian city that’s known for its Black Sea resorts is now also known for its peculiar bathroom issues.

Typically when you travel abroad, you have some control over what you’ll encounter (food, attractions, etc.). The one thing you can’t avoid, however, are restrooms.

So what are we talking? The ol’ clogged toilet? Classic dripping faucet?

Not quite.

If you scored tickets to the Olympics this year, or are just a curious world traveler, here’s a handy guide of issues you can expect from the local bathrooms in Sochi.

1. Privacy. By now you’ve probably seen the photos from the Olympic Biathlon Centre. If you haven’t, I’ll just sum it up with “side by side toilets.” No doors. No partitions. Just a friendly “common area” where up to four men can poop freely and exchange pleasantries.

If you want to see these toilets first hand check out The Guardian

“But,” you protest, “That’s more of a strange custom than a plumbing problem.” Well picture the messiest, most hellish toilet overflow you’ve ever experienced. Now multiply that by four!!

2. “Raw Sewage Bathroom.” The hotels in Sochi in particular are catching a lot of flack by the media for their ultra shabby design and user un-friendliness.

When one investigative reporter checked into his hotel, ready to cover the Olympics, he tweeted the technical description for what he saw: “raw sewage bathroom.”

He did not elaborate, but I think the explosive imagery we all have speaks louder and smellier than words. (In fact, this might be only time in one’s life where a clogged toilet would’ve been a preferable scenario).

3. Too much toilet paper. Another popular photo from Sochi shows a bathroom stall (yes, this one apparently has a door), with a sign urging people to throw their TP in an open trash bin.

That’s right. Do not flush the used paper in the toilet. Instead, leave it out for others to enjoy.

Apparently there is either an over-abundance of toilet paper, or an epidemic of clogged toilets. At the time of this writing, it’s unclear.

4. Lack of Shower Curtains. Reportedly, another member of the media was told when he checked into his hotel that there would be no shower curtain.

Sure, splashing all that water from your shower isn’t good for the bathroom floor, but there’s a bigger, more personal crime here.

Shower time is singing time, and when I belt out this year’s Olympics theme song, “My Day”, I want some privacy!

5. Generally poor plumbing. The hotels are hogging most of the attention, but allegedly, many of the residents in Sochi have water and sewage problems.

It’s advised then that if you’re traveling to Sochi any time soon, just hold it.

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