I have a problem

Actually, I have a lot of them (or so I’ve been told) but there’s one that weighing particularly heavily on my mind at the moment. You see, I have a friend visiting from Ireland this weekend.

But that’s not the problem. I haven’t seen her in ages so we’ll have loads to catch up on and I’m really looking forward to that.

Sure, the weather’s a bit chilly, but the heating has come on in the flat (for now) and there’s plenty of fun to be had indoors in Riga – bars, restaurants, bars, cafΓ©s, shops, bars, museums, galleries, bars, shooting ranges, strip clubs, bars… So that’s not the problem.

After a busy day at work, I’ve spent most of the evening cleaning the flat so everything is spick and span. The fridge is stocked i.e. I bought wine, and the guest towels are good to go. No problems there.

The problem is… I’m embarrassed to even write this down because it makes it feel all the more real… I’ve started seeing my friends not just as friends, but as ‘pork mules’. There, I’ve said it.

This is what happens when you live away from Ireland for 4 years and are never sure where your next fix of bacon and sausages is going to come from.

On arrival day, I usually send a few ‘concerned’ texts:

What I write: Did you make it to the airport on time?

What I mean: Did you get my bacon and did you remember to pack it?

What I write: Hope you had no problems at security!

What I mean: Did my bacon make it through? Did it? Did it? Did it???

What I write: Woo hoo! You’ve landed! Did the Latvians clap? I’m waiting in Arrivals…

What I mean: Good god woman, hurry up. I can almost smell the bacon.

When my friend walks through the arrivals gate, I’m concerned that instead of seeing her smiling face, open arms and visible joy at our reunion, my pork-lust will take over and I’ll see something like this:

Like I said, I think I have a problem. But dealing with it will have to wait. Right now, I’ve got to get to the airport to meet my bacon friend…

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About BerLinda

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

99 Responses to I have a problem

  1. LigaFromRiga says:

    Can understand you on missing proper bacon over there, I never really understood what the word meant until moved to the UK. Don’t eat it though as it’s way too salty.
    As for the rest of pork in the UK, sorry, but the Latvian one is so much better. I couldn’t understand why until my mum (a vet, living in the UK for 7 years now) explained to me. When pork is still running around as little nice piglets, the “boy” ones are supposed to have their dangling bits cut off not to give the nasty taste to the meat later. They don’t do that in the UK saying that they kill them young enough for the meat to stay without that weird smell & taste. It doesn’t though. So you can never predict what your pork chops are going to taste like until you bring them home. Beef and turkey is good here though. Don’t eat lamb as not used to it (they don’t have much of that in Latvia) but was surprised to find out most of it is imported from New Zealand as it’s cheaper than using sheep running around the British countryside, they must be just plain decoration πŸ™‚

    • Expat Eye says:

      Oh man, I don’t want to associate dangly bits with my bacon! I lived in NZ for a year and the meat there was fantastic I must say!
      P.S. I like your username πŸ˜‰

  2. Paul says:

    Ha Ha.. Reminds me of the time back in 2004 (pre LV in EU) when my parents came to visit me in Riga on a Baltic cruise ship.. as they off loaded, my mother in her wheelchair was wearing one of my fathers XXL coats.. hiding underneath on her lap, 7kg of best back bacon πŸ™‚ .. I have now got used to Latvian bacon but still head straight to the nearest UK cafe for my bacon & fried egg sandwich πŸ™‚

    • Expat Eye says:

      Oh good Jesus, what I wouldn’t give for proper chipper chips right about now! With ALL of the salt and vinegar! You did remind me to take some bacon out of the freezer though – it would have been a depressing morning tomorrow otherwise! Latvian bacon – you must be here a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong time if you got used to that! πŸ™‚

      • Paul says:

        12 years already! .. However as compensation for Latvian bacon, I am slowly converting everyone to nescafe instant coffee WITH milk.. (and Tetley tea with milk) .. but I confess that I have been got at by pancakes.. or so my scales keep telling me πŸ™‚

      • Expat Eye says:

        I solve that problem by not owning a scales πŸ™‚

  3. Kaufman's Kavalkade says:

    LoL. Hope your mule can hide the bacon really well.

  4. rigaenglish says:

    In Valencia they had Spainsburys, basically an ex-pat who supplied overpriced baked beans, cream crackers and so on at inflated prices. Almaty had interfoods which was focused on European products. Dunno if there’s room here though, people here seem a bit conservative when it comes to food. My fix for some weird reason is Marks and Spencers mint truffle bars, I always leave a kilo free in the luggage for them!

    • Expat Eye says:

      Oh, if I could take the whole of M&S with me I would! Everything they do is amazing πŸ˜‰ Yeah, I’m not sure there’s enough of a market for a British/Irish store really – shame!

  5. 1WriteWay says:

    Oh, dear, you do have it bad. When your friends come to visit, do you hold up signs at the airport arrivals saying, “Bacon! Where’s my bacon!” ?

  6. Anna says:

    You wanted bacon? Here’s some bacon! http://www.thelocal.se/50584/20131003/

  7. if your friend does busts a move like that bacon, can you please, pleeaase get it on video? thanks.

  8. Antuanete says:

    Lucky you, to have such friends visiting! Apparently it’s like with Latvians living abroad, whose friends and relatives carry loads of black bread and “Kārums” snacks to them πŸ™‚
    Discussion about Irish vs. American bacon have started to confuse me, can you post a picture how “proper” bacon looks like? I wondered why you complained about lack of bacon here, when it’s available in last years (expensive and not in such variety than in USA, but still…), though, if it’s something different, then it really may be a problem. To get proper meat in market, you need to know exactly the name of cut; as I’m using recipes from American cookbook, I’m never sure if I bought the right piece of meat πŸ™‚

    • Expat Eye says:

      I’ll post a picture of it in the next one! We had such a great weekend πŸ˜‰ And my friend LOVED Riga! It was great to see it through someone else’s eyes again – made it feel new for me again too! Took so many photos and acted like a total tourist πŸ˜‰

  9. Eilish says:

    You are talking about Back Bacon, is it a kind of a combination of both pork belly and pork loin in one cut, isn’t. Some one explain to me that the rounded lean bit on a slice of back bacon is the pork loin and the fatty streaky bit attached to it is the pork belly. Visit a butcher, it may help you.

  10. barbedwords says:

    Same with the bacon here in Rome – more lard than meat. Of course, foodies and chefs rave on about the amazing pancetta but I spend ages with the scissors cutting out all the fat so I’m left with a tiny sliver of actual bacon for my butty. I’ve never tried Irish bacon but you’re doing an excellent sales job on it. Will be searching for it on Sainsbury’s shelves as soon as I return to England.

    • Expat Eye says:

      It’s pretty similar to English bacon really! At least I got my fix in Rugby during the summer. Now the fridge is stocked and I’ll be going home at Christmas so it’s all good! πŸ™‚

  11. Omg! This is hilarious and just may be my favorite post yet! I can so relate to this in regards to my friends here who are military and have access to American shopping where I too just bought 5 packages of bacon!

  12. pollyheath says:

    I can’t sympathize with your pork plight, but all bets are off when it comes to Oreos, Pop Tarts, or peanut butter. Show me the goods first, then we can hug it out.

  13. lafemmet says:

    The bacon is the same here, and not terribly different in the US. 😦 But it is better in my opinion. But I do love me some Canandian bacon! YUM Regretfully, there are Canadian bacon mules for me, But I would love to have a maple Syrup mule. In my dreams. Prijatno (Enjoy your bacon)

  14. Anna says:

    So, on the one hand I want to be supportive, to tell you that I feel your pain. But on the other – if by ‘bacon’ you refer to those slabs of ham in that rather disturbing commercial (I don’t think you’re supposed to anthropomorphize your food before you eat it), then I am sorry, but that is not real bacon. It has to come in these silky, thin ribbons and then fried to a golden-red crisp like so http://gohomeandaway.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/foodriotcom.jpg YUMMMMMM. THAT is the bacon worth exploiting people for.

  15. Jude says:

    Seems like an import business waiting to happen, you can’t be the only one gaga for proper bacon!

  16. Glen Grant says:

    Bacon Yesssssssssssssssssssssssssss!

  17. Nene says:

    Haha! Had some lovely Irish bacon last w-end (thanks sis!). It just tasted right, y’know? Enjoy your bacon fix! πŸ˜‰

  18. joanfrankham says:

    And dont forget the yummy Irish sausages!

  19. bevchen says:

    I feel your pain… bacon here comes in pathetically thin rashers that shrivel up to nothing when you try to cook them. And while Bratwurst are nice, they just don’t cut it as part of a full English breakfast!!

  20. Since when are Latvians without pigs?

  21. Lila says:

    is bacon in latvia really so bad? in russia we eat pig lard instead of bacon (we call it salo). it has tiny strings of bacon in it. u put green onions and salt on it, goes great with black bread and vodka. i tried eating the bacon here in germany and i just dont get whats so special about it.

  22. hm, seems I need to ask some of my expat friends living in UK or Ireland to bring me some of that bacon and see if it’s really worth all this craving. Though I’m just as happy with a little bit of fat on it πŸ˜‰
    And just wanted to share this with ya, thought it applies awesomely for Riga’s Old Town too πŸ˜€ http://whenyouliveinvilnius.tumblr.com/post/60644513260/trying-to-walk-in-heels-in-the-old-town

  23. Ha ha haaaaaa! This really tickled my funny bone!
    I need some bacon mules of my own.
    BTW Italians also clap when planes land, except lately I have had a few Ryanair landings that were so alarming they all just laughed in nervous relief. When you can tell the pilot is an Italian driver gone airborne, it’s time to worry.

  24. Gypsy says:

    Oh, my, kindred minds … it’s been about a year since they’ve finally allowed pork into Qatar. We have to get it at the ‘naughty store’ … (aka the one ‘booze shop’ in the land). At first we were overjoyed at the prospect of finally being allowed to indulge and had a virtual porkfest … We literally bought 5 lbs of the stuff … cooked up a batch and realized a bit too late that the salt content was likely to mummify us alive. What we get here is not bacon … it’s salt with a touch of rind. Blechhhhh!
    P.S. Enjoy the good stuff … savor every bite. (Don’t be ashamed, I’ve been known to use a friend or two to smuggle in some proper coffee on the odd occasion!)

    • Expat Eye says:

      It’s true – you have to live away from home for a long time to truly appreciate this first-world problem! Your bacon sounds, um, interesting!

  25. Oh god… NOW I know why you follow me!
    What she writes: “Ah, you’re in Spain, nice and sunny, I’ve heard.”
    What she means: “Fuck, yes, a blogger IN THE LAND OF PORK!!!!!!!”

  26. Haha! I love it! My daughter did the same while living in LA! Couldn’t get good North Carolina Bar-B-Que!!

    • Expat Eye says:

      It’s the main problem with being an expat! You need a constant string of friends to come over and bring you stuff!! πŸ™‚ Hope your daughter figured out an alternative! Linda.

  27. Chris O'Shea says:

    Pork mules … Very descriptive πŸ™‚ maybe she can bring in some tea too. That way she can double up as a pork AND a tea mule

    • Expat Eye says:

      Ha ha, well, I can get English and Irish breakfast tea here and she is flying Ryanair… I don’t want her to have to wear the bacon – a la Lady Gaga! πŸ™‚

  28. Hi! I just discovered your blog and after a quick search I didn’t find any info on it, so I have to ask the obvoius question: don’t they have bacon in Latvia??? Nice blog by the way, looking forward to reading your stories!

    • Expat Eye says:

      Thanks! They do have bacon here but by the time you pick all the fat off it, there’s nothing left πŸ˜‰ Mmm, Irish bacon and friend on the way! Linda.

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