My little home from home has a lot to celebrate at the moment, though clearly not in football as Ireland whupped Latvia 3-0 on Friday. (I couldn’t not mention that.)
Far cheerier is the fact that Latvia celebrates Independence Day tomorrow so the whole of Riga will come alive in a festival of light. Daudz laimes dzimšanas diena, Latvija. But of course, this happens every year.
Something you don’t see every day (or year) is a Latvian girl being crowned ‘The UK’s Horniest Student’. Hats, or maybe pants, off to Elina Desaine who beat off competition from all the local slappers to take the prize. It seems Latvia’s loss is the UK’s gain.
“I should be the UK’s horniest student because I have sex with at least 2 / 3 different people a week. Sometimes i go clubbing, have sex with someone, and then go back to the club to pick up my second victim. Feeling horny right now, so might just text someone on my ‘shag list’ and do it in the computer room (I’ve done this before, was great!) With your help of Alcohol, I will be able to become an even Hornier Student!”
But don’t worry – the IT Business Management student, who calls herself a ‘Slutvian’, and has bumped uglies with 16 guys to date at Sexeter University (see what she did there?) also has a responsible side:
“My one rule is if the guy hasn’t got a condom, he isn’t shagging me. It’s great because you can have fun without getting any diseases.”
Hopefully the year’s supply of condoms, as well as £500 cash, a brand new Samsung mobile – and alcohol – will make up for the fact that she will never get a job. Like, ever.
So while Elina has been hard at it all weekend, I’ve been getting a little rest and relaxation in Stockholm. My best friend lives there so it was high time I visited. The Latvians had warned me that the Swedes can be very cold too so I was prepared for the worst. I needn’t have been. The people there emanate the sort of happiness and contentment that comes from living in a country where things just work. Staff in shops, bars and ticket offices are friendly and will even smile at you and engage in conversation – something that takes a little getting used to after living in Latvia.
Stockholm is a short hop from Riga and I had got a bargain on the flights – 22 lats return. But as I was flying with Ryanair, it turned out that the bus trip into Stockholm was actually longer, and more expensive, than the flight. Naturally, the cold that I thought I’d beaten chose that exact moment to rear its ugly head again, and I coughed, wheezed and sneezed for the 80 minutes that it took to get to the city. The poor girl beside me scrunched herself up as close to the window as she could, huffing and puffing, and wrapping her head in a scarf to avoid getting the plague. I don’t blame her; I would have hated me too.
It was already dark by the time I got to Stockholm bus station, where my friend was waiting for me in the rain. Hugs, laughter and a surprised look from her at the redness on the top of my head ensued. We headed back to her beautiful, modern apartment and I installed myself on the sofa with a glass of wine while she got cooking. This was to become something of a theme over the weekend.
The next day dawned bright and sunny and despite feeling a little worse for wear, I woke up early – possibly aware of the fact that there would only be around 5 hours of daylight. After some breakfast and around 400 cups of tea, we set off for Gamla Stan (Old Town) feeling sheepishly guilty and hungover amid all of the walkers, joggers, inline skaters and cyclists. Christ, these people are fit. They even have outdoor gyms, just in case you fancy a break from all the walking, jogging, inline skating and cycling.
We wandered around the pretty old town for a couple of hours, taking in the atmosphere and witnessing the changing of the guard at the royal palace.
After that, trying out the local cakes seemed like a good option. I had a delicious caramel and chocolate number while my friend hurt her teeth on the sweetness of a Snickers cake.
Since it was 13.24 at this stage, and a perfectly reasonable hour to start drinking, we did. The beer was nothing to write home about but after 4 of them, some great conversation and people-watching, and a nice chat with the bar girl, life seemed wonderful. We went back to my friend’s place and I installed myself on the sofa with a glass of wine while she got busy in the kitchen.
As I had to leave quite early the next morning, we decided not to go out, instead popping across the courtyard to my friend’s boyfriend’s place, casserole dish in hand. My friend will make someone (possibly him) a lovely little wife some day.
I wonder if she would have more luck with this Latvian dating lark than I’m having.