The Bag Lady


Landlady’s daughter: Hello! Maybe tonight at 21:00 Mamy come with new lessee. OK?

Me: OK, I’ll just go outside when they get here. 


Me: So I guess nobody is coming tonight?

Landlady’s daughter: Hello! Yes, I think so! 

Me: Sorry, they are coming or they are not coming?

Landlady’s daughter: No, they will not to come. It is too late.

Me: (Where’s the ‘sigh’ smiley…?)

That was last Wednesday and the beginning of the end in my old flat. On Monday, I signed a contract, handed over my life savings and got the keys to the new place. Excited, I went back to the flat with the intention of packing up the contents of my wardrobe before the big move the next day.

After filling three black sacks, I realised that I might need to go and buy more black sacks.

The tip of the iceberg

The tip of the iceberg

A little disheartened, I decided to stop packing for a while, and instead, do my first run with the already packed bags. A few people had mentioned to me that my new area was a bit dodgy after dark, so with that in mind, I waited until after dark to do it. My reasoning was that if I never saw it after dark, I’d forever be sitting in my flat, afraid to move, jumping at every little bump in the night.

So, dressed from head to toe in black (for added menace), I hefted two of the sacks over my shoulders, stepped out into the driving rain and trotted into the night looking a little like Santa’s ninja sister. Thankfully, that night, I was (by far) the scariest-looking person on the streets.

The next day, around half an hour before my friend came round to help me move all my stuff, I realised that I hadn’t really packed anything since the night before. I hurriedly started emptying my wardrobe into yet more black sacks. Unfortunately, I hadn’t got to the kitchen by the time he arrived.

Scotsman: Are you taking all this food?

Me: Yeah, I guess. Hmm, some of it might be a little bit out of date.

Scotsman: (rifling through my cupboard) May 2013 (bin), Feb. 2013 (bin), June 2012… really?? (bin).

Then he hit the mini-Christmas puddings that had been lurking in the back of my cupboard since Christmas 2011. My mum had sent me a ‘care package’ and I hadn’t had the heart to throw them out.

Me: Christmas puddings last forever…

Scotsman: Linda. They’re about to walk to the bin by themselves. (bin)

We eventually managed to get everything packed up and into a big heap on the floor. It was time for the first daylight run to the new flat. Now, bearing in mind that my friend is around twice my height and width, he could carry a lot more than I could. However, not wanting to seem weak and girly, I gamely picked up far more than I could realistically carry and headed for the stairs. By the time I got to the yard, I was a sweaty, breathless wreck but of course, I had to keep going. As a result, what should have been a 10-minute walk, took around 25 minutes as I had to keep stopping for rest breaks veiled in excuses – oh, give me a sec, I need to take off my sunglasses, etc.

Naturally, this time round, the hookers and junkies were out in force. But they seemed friendly enough, even shouting out comments every so often, which I took to mean ‘Hi, neighbour!’ Well, hello to you too, my friendly neighbourhood junkie!

We deposited the first load and headed back. At this stage, I couldn’t feel my arms any more so we decided to lug everything down to the yard and then call a taxi. And so, around 20 minutes later, with me wedged under a table in the back seat, we were off for the last time.

Around 10% of my stuff

Around 10% of my stuff

With everything dumped on the floor and my friend gone, I immediately got down to business – sitting on my sofa and calling Lattelecom, the TV and internet providers.

After 10 minutes of ‘All of our operators are busy right now, please hold’, I eventually got through to the cheeriest Latvian on the planet. I, however, was less than cheery when she told me that the earliest somebody could come to hook me up would be the following Monday. It seems that, although Latvia has one of the fastest internet speeds in the world, getting access to the damn thing isn’t so speedy. (Luckily, my new best friend in the world lent me her mobile internet thingy which is why I’m able to write this tonight.)

After that, it was a fun thirty minutes of ‘If I was a kettle, where would I hide?’ and then back to work. Until midnight. And the same again last night. So, I’m sad to say, the flat looks pretty much the same today as it did on Tuesday. I have, however, made a mental list of things I need to buy – a toilet roll holder, shelves, a bathroom mirror, more wardrobe space, a bedside table, superglue, hooks (lots of), a coat stand, a shoe rack, a draining board, another lock for the front door, light bulbs, wine (lots of)…

The previous tenant did leave me some interesting stuff though.

What is it?

What is it?

Screws cunningly hidden in a perfume box and what I think is a heater

Screws cunningly hidden in a perfume box and what I think is a heater

He (or maybe she) also had some interesting taste in interior design.

My kitchen

My kitchen

It’s a very comfortable armchair but if history tells me one thing, it’s that I won’t be spending that much time in the kitchen.

I also have a new flatmate.

I shall call you Janis...

I shall call you Janis…

He may or may not be alive. I’ll poke him with a sweeping brush tomorrow and find out.

But for now, it’s back to my main priority – remembering that the toilet is NOT in the same room as the shower and the sink…

About BerLinda

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

68 Responses to The Bag Lady

  1. Pingback: An O’Goddess in the kitchen | Expat Eye on Latvia

  2. 1WriteWay says:

    Oh, dear, I hate spiders and Janis looks like he has very very long legs 😦 Also, interesting that the hookers and junkies were out in the day … that could be a good thing?

  3. Saryne says:

    Xmas pudding are eternal, everyone knows that. Stupid Scotsman!

  4. Nene says:

    She has her very OWN bungalow, on the edge of the forest (ok, there are other dwellings within let’s say,100m, but you know, I’m not fussy) where she can do her knicker ironing to her heart’s content. ❤

  5. Nene says:

    Mother in-law had a mini-fit first time she was here. She’s also against living near churches/graveyards/restaurants/people (alive or dead)/businesses/bus (tram) stops…sigh…

  6. Nene says:

    The Germans do separate toilets too. Not as strange as having to go through the kitchen to get to the bathroom…ahem… ;-))

  7. lafemmet says:

    Congrats on the move! The bathroom set up is def Eastern European. In the house that will eventually be ours the toilet is in a big room with the washer. You have to go through the dining room to get to the other bathroom with the sink and shower… The shower is just a nozzle in the wall and a cement floor with a drain. We gots lots of work to do! Eventually….

  8. pollyheath says:

    Ooooh! Separate toilet and bathroom — so Eastern European. I get the logic behind it, but it still makes me crazy.

    Congratulations on making a super classy move (nothing says class like black plastic bags, right?). Hope all is well!

  9. Ray Raymond says:

    Noooooo ….you threw out the Christmas puddings 😦

  10. Gypsy says:

    Love this. And so happy to know you’re getting out there and making new friends. The hookers and junkies seem much nicer than that lot from England this summer. 🙂

    • Expat Eye says:

      Ha ha, seriously! I’d take the hookers and junkies any day! And Janis and son are a bit frisky this morning as well! I’m not. One of my blinds fell off the window at around 5.30am last night scaring the bejesus out of me. Need to call ‘the man’ 😉

  11. kathexpat says:

    Linda, I’ve missed reading your blog! (I temporarily fell off the face of the planet, but I’m back with a vengeance). And that black thing the old tenant left? No idea what that could be. I thought at first maybe a clothes rack, but then on closer inspection, maybe something a bit more “50 Shade of Grey”.

    • Expat Eye says:

      Hey! Good to have you back! Oooh, I like your thinking – I might set up my own sex den – I’d say there’s a good market for it round these parts 😉

  12. gina4star says:

    Haha, oh my goodness, it’s amazing how much stuff you accumulate isn’t it! Love the story, really hope that Janis is dead… Um… I don’t think i’ve ever come across and armchair (really!?) in the kitchen before, and bathrooms have a simliar wierd setup in Mexico, my loo and shower are in the same room, but the sink is just outside… Congratulations on the move! 🙂 x

    • Expat Eye says:

      It seems Janis is alive and kicking – and he has a son! Janis Jr. Yeah the armchair is a bit odd alright! I’m not sure whether to keep it or get rid of it! Why can’t everything bathroom-related just be in one room – THE BATHROOM!

  13. Poor Janis may not be alive even after you poke him with the brush… =)

  14. Hurraaaah! You’ve moved 🙂 No internet till Monday, not so hurrraaaah…

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