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A Gift For Frisky Sports Writers

The Washington Post's home in Beijing. Wish us luck.

Welcome to the Tibet Hotel, Mr. Steinberg. Yes, that's right, in these most political of Games, your bosses have seen fit to stash you in a building that literally has a potentially censored word in its name. This means that, when you show your hotel's name to some cab drivers, they will literally do a double-take. Congratulations. Enjoy.

Upstairs in your room, please find water faucets with a sign urging you not to drink their contents. Please also find marvelous flat-screen TVs, on which you may watch CCTV 1, CCTV 2, CCTV 3, CCTV 4, CCTV 5, CCTV 6, the laff-riot that is CCTV 7, CCTV 8, and, if you're really feeling particularly crazy, CCTV 9. There are assorted other channels, including one that, on a recent night, was showing vintage clips of Coach K being hoisted upon the shoulders of various Dukies. Yeah, even the Chinese State Media appears to be biased in favor of Duke.

Downstairs is the breakfast buffet, running from 7 until 9:30, unless your name is Les Carpenter and you somehow manage to eat at 10:45. On a typical morning, the humorously translated offerings may include Toast Bread, Sctamble Mushroom, Sctamble Egg, Sauteed Gteen Vegetable (including special ingredients "Gourmet Power" and "Rape"), and the ever-popular Bacorn. And yes, that's far better than the Mandarin translations available at the new IHOP in Southeast D.C, but it's still worthy of a chuckle.

Back to your room. Please also find many helpful items in groups of two: two twin beds (in case any random bloggers need a place to bed town), two cartons of Hot and Spicy Mister Potato Crisps, two bottles of Nongfu Spring Water, two combs, two tooth brushes, two emery boards, two vanity kits, two cups, two shower caps, two bottles of bath foam, two bottles of body lotion. Oh, and lest we forget, two condoms.

Yes, that's right, every visiting journalist staying in the Tibet Hotel has been given not one but two condoms, tastefully laid out next to the complimentary combs and bath foam. Sports writers might not be known for their romantic exploits, with some notable exceptions, but as the Olympic Motto would put it, "One World One Dream."

Free stuff, in groups of two. The condoms are in the top left, if you need 'em.

By Dan Steinberg  |  August 4, 2008; 11:29 AM ET
Categories:  Olympics  
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