Homeward Bound

Up up and away from the forest!

Up up and away from the forest!

When you’ve been living abroad for any amount of time, there’s always a period of adjustment when you go back to your home country. As my time will be very limited however, I need to start adjusting while still in Latvia. To this end, I’ve written a little check list to mentally prepare myself before I set foot on Irish soil…

1. Get ready for the taste sensation of proper ‘chipper’ chips with salt and vinegar.

2. Refresh memory as to babies born in the last year (name and gender should suffice?) so I don’t end up referring to any little bundle of joy as ‘it’.

2b. Perfect Latvian poker face in readiness for tales of childbirth.

3. Ryanair. Be prepared for anything and DO NOT give them any more money at the airport no matter what new ‘regulations’ they come up with.

4. Pack a second check-in bag in first check-in bag for the 15 kilos of bacon, sausages, Bisto and Penneys clothing that will make Riga bearable until the next visit to Ireland.

5. Relearn bus etiquette. (Today I bag-blocked and shouldered an old lady woman. But in my defence, she elbowed me in the ribs and pushed me first. It’s hard to pick a winner in this heart-warming tale but… I got the seat. This is not acceptable behaviour in Ireland. Tomorrow I will ride buses until I find a seat and a pregnant/old woman and then graciously give her said seat in an effort to neutralise this shameful behaviour.)

6. Stop cursing at strangers/muttering to self in the street. Muttley from the Wacky Races is not a good look.

7. Practise smiling. And keep practising until it looks less scary.

8. Try not to weep when someone smiles at you. It’s embarrassing.

9. Get out of the habit of putting money on the counter in shops. In Ireland, the money goes in the hand. The money goes in the hand. The money goes…

10. Don’t keep exclaiming ‘My God, that’s outrageous! In Latvia this would only cost…’ in every bar/restaurant/shop. This gets annoying very quickly.

10b. Likewise, do not say ‘This isn’t cold. In Latvia…’ You’re not Latvian.

11. Erase songs like ‘Meitenes Zeltenes’ and ‘Kur ir mana Lidmašīna’ from head. Replace with ‘The Fields of Athenry’ and ‘The Wild Rover’.

12. Build up willpower for when my mother tries to ‘feed me up’. I will not fall prey to ‘sure, a bird never flew on one wing…’ and other such ‘Irish Mammy-isms’.

This seems like a lot to do before tomorrow. I remember when my ‘check list’ used to be a quick pat down to make sure that my passport, money and tickets were somewhere on my person. Sometimes it’s hard to be an expat…

About BerLinda

Adjusting to life in Germany, after living in Latvia for four years. Should be easy, right?
This entry was posted in Expat, Humor, Humour, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to Homeward Bound

  1. Pingback: The fourteenth post of the expedition – the compilation of cover songs and unreleased studio recordings | The Curious Case of a Boy with a Blog.

  2. Bob Lewis says:

    I’ll quickly clear some space here – so’s we can help you to store any surplus bacon and sausages….. (Ah, bacon…..!)

  3. John says:

    I’m not a fan of Ryanair. Yes they’re cheap but they make a real virtue out of being arseholes, gloating over their extra charges. It’s totally crap that they charge for online check in, when you know, there isn’t any other way to check in! The thing is , if you look at it overall, their prices are pretty good, they should just stop pissing about and give people a straight price. On the other hand, Air Baltic are very annoying as well. One thing I really hate that Air Baltic do is putting incorrect prices on their website, you mess around going through the booking process, scrolling through 20 screens of offers (“do you want to take skis with you on your summer trip to Riga?” er no. “Are you sure you don’t want to take skis?” etc) and then they tell you that the ticket is no longer available. I have a hard time believing that in the 3 minute gap that I was buying flights, someone else booked a ticket from Almaty to Riga on a flight 3 months in the future.

    • Expat Eye says:

      Managed to get through this trip unscathed anyway! And uncharged which is the important thing! Must get on booking my next flight from Almaty to Riga… 😉

  4. Bob Lewis says:

    Yes. I suppose clapping IS saying ‘Thank you’ – to God!!

  5. cheap flights says:

    I like Ryanair. Now you can buy tickets: Riga->Oslo 15 lats; Oslo->Greece (any of 4 destinations) 10-12 lats; dumb Riga tax 5 lats. Round trip from Riga to Greece will cost 2*15+2*10(12)+5 = 55-59 lats. Of course there may be some additional taxes when you actually buy the tickets, but still I find it very cheap and definitely will travel to Greece. In May Riga->Oslo is for 7 lats but then prices for flights to Greece increase significantly. In January it was possible to buy tickets from Riga to Oslo for 0,49 lats (yes, 49 santims). Btw also don’t understand the clapping thing, maybe we do that because we survived => we happy & clappy. 😀

  6. Liga Krista says:

    Once you learn how to use Ryanair, it gets really fun! Have been flying nonstop for at least 2years now. Check in baggage, though, in Ryanair is not cheap.

    • Expat Eye says:

      I know. 15 lats – but I’m not sure my bag will fit so it’s cheaper than paying 50 or 60 at the airport! They always try to screw you somehow!

      • Liga Krista says:

        I have never been screwed and they havent even attempted to do so! All you need – to comply with the regulations, which, to me, is a fair price for being able to fly for less than a buss tickret to Stockholm in Sweden :))

      • Expat Eye says:

        I’m hoping to go to Stockholm before the summer as my best friend has just moved there! It’s always pretty expensive to fly to Dublin though. This one worked out at around 120 lats. At Christmas, it was close to 300 so I couldn’t go! I got screwed at Skavsta airport before. 450 kroner even though I’d just flown there from Riga and my bag was fine!

      • Liga Krista says:

        Wow for Dublin prices, skavsta for me is usually arround 7lats one way, plus the dumb tax in rix. We fly there end of april, really miss Sweden, here in Lithuania 😀

      • Expat Eye says:

        7 lats is a total bargain! There are never flights like that to Dublin! And Ryanair is really the only option as Air Baltic are so expensive. Aer Lingus stopped flying here last year for some reason.

      • nbr903 says:

        There seems to have been a lot of screwing going on here! I wonder if I’ve been missing out on something?I’ve never seen much of it, or any of it, on the Liverpool flights!

        Date: Thu, 28 Mar 2013 21:26:34 +0000
        To: bob.lewisnbr903@hotmail.co.uk

      • Expat Eye says:

        It’s the Ryanair mile high club 😉

  7. nbr903 says:

    SOME Latvians do queue – particularly those who live in the Wrexham area of Wales. The ‘Battle of Wrexham Bus-Station’ cured their bad habits for good! I gather that the injuries weren’t life threatening, but a few Latvians / Poles / Lithuanians thought about long holidays ‘back home’!
    I can’t recall any record of Welsh injuries!

  8. Pecora Nera says:

    Thanks for making me laugh. I like no 5. Does everyone fight to get on a Ryainair flight?? Even Latvians? I thought it was just the Italians

    I did watch a plane load of people board a Ryain Air flight to Norway and they queued!!!! I thought it was just an anomaly. Can you please make a detour via Milan malpensa and leave me some bacon PLEASE.

    • Expat Eye says:

      What is this ‘queue’ you speak of?? Latvians don’t queue – ever! They do however clap when the plane lands which I find odd. Surely landing is the least you can expect when you fly? I’ll have a word with the pilot about the detour but I wouldn’t get your hopes up!

      • Liga Krista says:

        Latvians do queque always, at least between Sweden and Latvia!

        Clapping is saying thank you 😉

      • Expat Eye says:

        Aw, how sweet haha!

      • Antuanete says:

        I find clapping really ridiculuos because statistics show – most of airplane accidents occur after plane has landed but haven’t stopped fully; yet people in Ryanair flights start to clap immediately when rear wheels touch the ground.
        Ryanair is actually a honest airline, they don’t try to hide their intention of charging passengers for everything, and they don’t change flight dates and times (which AirBaltic does!)
        Have a good time at home, and pack in your luggage as much bacon as you can! 🙂

      • Bob Lewis says:

        Is your middle name “O’Leary” by any chance?

      • Expat Eye says:

        Yeah, O’Leary O’Grady. Catchy 🙂

      • Bob Lewis says:

        That wasn’t meant for you! It was meant for ‘Andchewanaunty’ (or whatever!) – ‘cos he seemed to be praising Ryanair! Most odd – there must be a reason!!

      • Expat Eye says:

        I think I need a bigger freezer… 😉

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