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Controversies about the Sochi Olympics that were overblown

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Reporters arriving at Sochi had been tweeting astonishing photos of the conditions in their hotel rooms.

But there are a few things reporters have mentioned that are quirks to being in Russia.

There are some reports that Sochi’s menus are offering “Cake in the ass” and “Ice cream in the Ass” and “Juice in the ass”. All they are seeing is an abbreviation.

There are some words in Russia that are the same words in English, but Russian uses another alphabet.

The word for “assortment” in Russian is: ассортимент. Spoken, it is “assortment”. The word for “ass” is жопа. Spoken, it is “zhopa”.

Their word for assortment is an English word. It is completely acceptable in Russian to abbreviate ассортимент to асс, or “ass”. Since this is an English word, it makes sense to do a direct translation from the Cyrillic to Latin alphabet. This direct translation is “ass”, a word with a meaning in English that may elicit a giggle, but is still an abbreviation of the word assortment.

пирожные в ассортим means cake in (a/the) assortment.

Reporters also posted photos of signs warning them not to flush their toilet paper.

In Russia and many other countries, you will find signs warning you not to flush toilet paper in the toilet. Some toilets are not toilets in the American sense, but are a style called Turkish toilets. These toilets involve squatting over a trough rather than sitting on a seat.

While many of the reporters' concerns were legitimate, these concerns were the result of a differing culture.