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December 24, 2004

Bloody Mess

Mir, Belarus - Tournament of Towns Summer Conference

Janos and I settled in a room with two Germans. Four of us knew little of Belarussian communism. We were being watched - and marked on a 2 - 5 system. They had a billboard in the lobby… our room deserved a 2 everyday, but they gave us 3’s and an occasional 5.

How did the mess come about? I arranged my clothes in nice neat piles on the window sill. You know, every morning, you grab a new set of clothes and your off for the day. When you work on problems, you accumulate a large stash of paper. Now, where do we keep it? On the desk? There is no space left on the desk. The beds? We are working on the beds. So we had nice stacks of paper conveniently arranged on the floor. Thanks to the watermelon, our garbage was overflowing - we had to sneak half of it next door to the Serbian room.

The troubles started when the cleaning lady came in. She simply didn’t know what to do. We thought she was doing us a service and we told her that it is OK, that she didn’t have to clean, and that she could come back tomorrow.

She called in the landlord. Man, was he ever bitchy. “What are the barricades doing there?” - pointing to the window sill. “Where is the pillow case?” - he was especially bitchy about the pillow case. “What is the paper doing on the floor? Up, clean it up. This place is a sewer. If you don’t clean this place up by tomorrow, you boys are going to pack your stuff and leave!” Then he paraded some organizers through our room. Since I was the only one who spoke Russian, I took most of the blame.

The next day, at breakfast, the landlord announced messy rooms. “Room 341 - St. Petersburg. Very messy room… [But the credit goes to] Room 343 - Canada/Germany - The worst room of all. An absolute sewer.” Luckily, we cleaned up before the inspection came in.

Posted by Oleg Ivrii at December 24, 2004 11:43 AM


You should have seen my room during IOI training camp, I bet it beats you guys in messiness

Posted by: Anonymous at December 26, 2004 05:37 PM

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