Two decades after the fall of the Soviet Union the Russians, whose central planning was responsible for perpetual shortages, crappy housing, and some of the worst food in the world are hosting the Winter Olympics in Sochi, one of the warmest places in Russia.
Sochi is one of the few places in Russia that does not get buried in snow so, at least to the Russian way of thinking, it was a natural site for the Winter Olympics. Perhaps because there’s no worry that a snowstorm will snarl traffic. No one is sure how the Russians persuaded the Olympic organizers to hold the event in the Russian Banana Belt but, rumor has it, large quantities of vodka were involved.
The Russians had a plan for ensuring that there would be snow in Sochi: Hire a Finn. They engaged the services of a Finnish company, Snow Secure Ltd., owned and operated by Mikko Martikainen. Over the past few years, Mr. Martikainen has been creating literal snow banks to save up what little snow falls in Sochi. He’s got the stuff stashed everywhere in insulated piles, ready to scatter on the ski slopes and snowboard pipes. Martikainen has guaranteed the Russians there will be plenty of snow and he’s ready to make more if need be. And he’ll probably pull it off. The Finns are like that.
Your room is ready, comrade.
Back in the glory days of the USSR, the Soviets would hire Finnish companies to build apartments and hotels for high-ranking officials and visiting dignitaries. Soviet-built accommodations had the nasty habit of collapsing around their occupants, either slowly or all at once.
They should have hired Finns to build the hotels in Sochi. With just days remaining before the opening ceremonies, at least three hotels are not yet finished and most of the others are, well, not yet finished.
Quick, Mr. Putin. There are only a few days left until the Games open. Hire some Finns. There’s still time for them to save your ass.