And I did. Oh, how I did.
On Friday night, I was invited to my friend Lena’s birthday party. But this was no ordinary birthday party – it was a macaroon-baking party. With wine. The dress code was supposed to be festive, but as it started at 6pm, I had no option but to go straight after work. I would have felt like a bit of a twat walking around all day in a cocktail dress and heels, so jeans and a semi-dressy top would have to do. Topped off with a backpack full of books and CDs – sexy. At least, thanks to a hair-dying misadventure the night before, I had inadvertently dyed the top of my head bright red so I guess that was kind of ‘festive’…
The party was taking place in the rather fabulous Miele Gallery on Zaubes Iela, and we would have our very own master chef to show us how to make the macaroons.
Oh, and wine. Lots and lots of wine. I even got to wear an apron for the very first time in my life. I actually looked like I might be semi-capable in the kitchen.
Naturally, I wasn’t fooling anyone though. Whenever someone asked me what something was called in English, I had absolutely no idea. I did a little bit of piping (at least I think that’s what it’s called) and then stuck to what I was good at.
It was a fantastic night. The macaroons were delicious and I ate and drank rings around myself. As is usually the case, nice people have nice friends and I met some great locals – including a very nice Russian man who kept on topping up my glass without me even having to ask. Well, it seemed fantastic at the time but the next morning when I woke up, not so much. I eased my poor head off the pillow and cursed myself for having agreed to do another drinking challenge with my bluddy.
On the agenda were Bišumuižu, Ziepniekkalns and Katlakalns. Feeling a bit weak and pathetic, I managed to drag my sorry ass to the bus station on Abrenes Iela for 11.55AM. Then I placed myself in my bluddy’s capable hands and allowed myself to be led around for the rest of the day – like a hungover kitten. He had warned me that these places weren’t the most salubrious but according to Google Earth, there was a bar right next to the bus-stop. With the promise of a hair-of-the-dog drink imminent, I cheered up. Until we got off the bus.
The bar looked like it had been shut down around 10 years before and was now home to dirt, graffiti and broken windows. I still optimistically tried the door, of course, but no joy. I felt a little like I had the time I had been punched in the face by a drunk Russian dude.
We proceeded to wander around the area and things got even more depressing. My bluddy told me that if he had had a lat for every time I said ‘the most depressing’ that day, he would have been a rich man. But seriously, was I wrong???
Then it started to rain. The icing on the shit cake.
After trudging around for what felt like hours, we finally happened upon a bar. It didn’t look like the greatest place in the world, but as long as they had beer, everything was going to be alright.
I marched up to the unfriendly-looking man behind the bar and asked for two beers.
‘That will be 2 lats.’
Bargain, I thought, as I placed two lats on the counter.
‘No, 2 lats EACH.’
What? In a shithole like this, you have the gall to charge Old Town prices? If we hadn’t been so desperate, we would have walked but we had come this far.
After a trip to the most depressing toilet in the world – you had to go outside in the rain to get to it – it was time to hit the road. In our first lucky break of the day, a tram came immediately and we were soon on the way back to civilisation.
a couple of several pints in our favourite Irish bar, we were soon feeling human again. And we might even be able to laugh about our adventures – in a few decades.
You can’t experience those neighborhoods on the whole in this part of day. Nevertheless I am not encouraging you to do it, it won’t be good experience.
Yeah, I wouldn’t have fancied being there any later than we were!
Pingback: Avotu Iela (or Where are all the hookers?) | Expat Eye on Latvia
I was working for a year in that ” most depressing workplace in the world”. I must say that the title fits that place very much!
You poor thing 😉
Pingback: Thinking of moving to Riga? | Expat Eye on Latvia
Loved this, sounds like a proper expat kind of weekend! I want to get wine drunk and make macaroons! That sounds like some sort of shady reference.
Wait til you read tomorrow’s post – you want shady, you got shady 😉
It was good fun though!
Those are my rajoni! I like it round there – in winter you can ski from Baloži across the peat fields to Ziepniekalns, and Katlakalns has got a great wood (seriously). Course, I wouldn’t go to any of the bars, but, you know.. I do my drinking at home :).
I remain unconvinced… 🙂 Maybe they look better when they’re covered in snow though!
Wow. This cold is really getting to me. I read this yesterday and was quite positive I left a comment. Huh. Anyway, while I’m complaining, where are the pictures of the macaroons?! 🙂
How many bloody pictures of macaroons do you want woman! 🙂 Surely my miserable face is far more fun to look at 😉 I have a cold too 😦 AGAIN. This is going to be a long winter…
HA! Great post. I laughed right out loud when you said “I didn’t understand a word but that was fine. I had wine.” My first year in Sardinia I was a raging drunk! We were invited to a lot of dinner parties as the townspeople were eager to know more about this new stranger in their town. I didn’t understand anything they said to me but clearly understood when someone offered me wine. I don’t do that much anymore … the hangovers last too long when we age. 🙂
Tell me about it 😉 I’m still feeling rough today 😉 If it had been in Latvian, it would have been semi-OK but it was all in Russian – I didn’t stand a chance 😉
Highs n lows, eh? Think there is something about dreary dull depressing days vs hot sunshine with a dab of impossible optimism…. what say?
I think I”ll take hot sunshine and impossible optimism – actually no, I wouldn’t have anything to write about then 😉
Haha!! You’d be surprised what you can still find. 🙂 One can always find something to complain about!
I’m sure I’d manage it 😉
The fountain doesn’t look so bad. I’ve seen worse 😉 Well done you for braving the most depressing place in the world with a hangover.
I think the hangover helped actually. It was definitely the kind of place that looks better the blearier you are!
It is a very depressing Monday morning here in Italy, so your post fits in well. 🙂
You really are getting into this cooking stuff aren’t you?
Not really. That’s me done now 😉
Could I just ask WHY your bluddy thought you would enjoy a day out in the world’s most depressing town???
ooops, sorry for the double comment – was having technical difficulties…
Ha ha, well, he’s set himself the challenge of visiting all of Riga’s 58 districts – some of them (most of them) are pretty depressing! It’s hit and miss when I join him – the last one wasn’t too bad – this one, well. You saw the pictures!! 🙂
Could I just ask WHY your bluddy thought you would enjoy the world’s most depressing town for your day out???
I’m sorry I laughed out loud at the “second most depressed woman” because I just knew what the next photo had to be. Great post.
Thanks! Yeah, sometimes being predictable is funny too 😉
Dude, that does look like the most depressing place on earth. Respect to you for toughing that shit out!
I’m a tough little cookie 😉
Are there any more pics of macaroons…?
I’ll add another one – just for you!
Whoah! Blue and green ones…
Purple and yellow. You’re drunk 😉
OK… I believe you….
I’ve only had a bottle and a half. And I saw them in real life 😉
I remember the night of the punch in the face, it all started in our favourite Irish bar, as I walked in, the infamous Russian guy was being forcibly removed and you just poo-pooded it, little did i realize that several hours later he would punch you in the face, or the removal had anything to do with you in the first place. But you being you, made little of it and soldiered on, your some woman for one woman. 😛
Some stupid woman for one woman 😉 It was a fun night though. 🙂 And the poor Scotsman got to walk around Istanbul with me for 2 days while I looked like a beaten wife 😉
LOL Be thankful for the beer and stop being depressed. Sounds like you have a grand time 😀
I did really. I just like complaining 😉 My poor bluddy 😉
Well Friday night sure sounded like a good time at least — I think you need to find a new “Bluddy” though – these shit-holes you guys keep going to… man, they’re depressing as hell from allllllll the way over here in Toronto! — Love that shot of you piping the macaroons – you look like a total champ 🙂
It is piping then 😉 I had no idea. My bluddy told me that’s what it was yesterday. I need a guy to tell me these things – tragic. 😉 I am very good at drinking wine though! And I did grow quite fond of the apron… Pity you’re so far away – you’d make a great bluddy 😉
Ha-ha! Nah, I think that guy’s actually more fun – wants to actually go on adventures. That Irish pub back in the city center you mentioned? I’d have just plonked my ass down in there right from the get go 🙂
So would I 😉 This is why I need him – to drag me to shitholes I’d never go to otherwise 😉 Maybe you should do the same in TO? 😉
Oh we used to for sure in our younger years. Pub crawls around the worst bars in the city, found all the cool little locals in the dodgy areas of town. Good times. Nowadays we usually just find ourselves sipping pints in kid-friendly chain restaurants… or at our own little “pub” in the basement 🙂
You have a pub in your basement? You might just be my dream man 😉
Oh yeah, it’s one of the main reasons we bought this place originally – its a beautifully crafted oak and brass bar, we have a gas fireplace nearby and a fantastic oak and slate pool table we set up — hey, if you’re gonna be at home a whole lot after having kids, make sure there’s fun to be had for mum and dad we figured 😀
It’s official – you are my dream man 😉 But then you’re competing with dick pic-ers and group sex weirdos so you’re onto a winner from the get-go 😉
Ha! Yeah, that’s always my strategy – just try to be the least creepy dude in the room 🙂
I think your idea of creepy and what I’m up against here are two very different things 😉
The fountain is very sad! And I shudder to think of the toilet. But, macaroons and wine sounds fantastic! I am all agog to hear about the fat lip from the Russian dude. It merits a nostalgia post.
There’s not really much to tell! I was walking home after a night out – he was drunk and ranting in the middle of the street – I got it in the lip 😉 I went down, he moved on, I got up again and continued on my way – a bit bloodier but not too bad 😉 I’m a tough wee thing 😉
May he be reincarnated as a fire hydrant in a city full of dogs!!
Very nice! 🙂
I think you need to write about the time you were punched in the face. Doesn’t matter if it was before you started blogging. Your blog doesn’t have to be present time. Go down memory lane. Indulge your readers 🙂
I’m sure it will happen again. I’m very punchable 😉 In fact, I was surprised that that was the first time it happened 😉 Unfortunately, I’ve done so many punchable things that I felt a bit robbed that this one was for no reason at all 😉 Wrong place, wrong time – drunk Russian 😉
I didn’t think the fountain was that bad..?
Your standards must be dropping by association 😉
You are just the saddest little moppet in this photos! MUAH!
Also, um, have you written before about being punched in the face by a drunk Russian dude? Bc OMFG WTF???
Ha, no, I haven’t written about it! It didn’t really merit a full post and it happened before I started blogging. I had a fat lip for a week or so 😉 It was not a good look – I’m definitely more of a lover than a fighter 😉