Breaking News! I do not hate Latvia!

As some of you know, last week I wrote a post about moving to Riga. The reason behind it was that I get a lot of emails from people thinking of moving to Riga because they’ve seen a pretty picture or like snow. They have no plan, no job lined up and totally unrealistic expectations of what life here is actually like. So I wrote this post. Did I go a bit overboard on the negativity? Maybe, but quite frankly, some of these people just need a good kick up the arse.

On an average day, this blog gets around 300 hits. Between Friday and Sunday last week, it got 7,500. On Monday, I was contacted by a journalist from a Latvian online news portal – kasjauns.lv. She wanted to know if she could translate this post and put it on the site. In the words of my good friend, I said ‘why not?’ It went live this morning and so far, I’ve had over 13,000 hits.

It’s been a good day for my stats but a bad day for me personally. Having to wade through message after message of hate mail can really get a girl down. A few people have said nice things – that they love it, that they agree with most of it, that it’s nice to see Latvia from a foreigner’s perspective – but the vast majority have been negative. And I mean REALLY negative.

If you’re wondering why you can’t see your comments at the moment, it’s because I have an option to moderate all comments before I publish them and that’s what I’m doing. I will publish/reply to them eventually but right now, it’s all a bit overwhelming so I thought I’d write a blanket response in the meantime.

First of all, just to reiterate, I do not hate Latvia. I’ve been here for nearly three and a half years which is the longest I’ve lived in any country apart from Ireland. Nobody is forcing me to stay against my will. Most of the time I like it, some days I even love it – but are there things that I dislike, that I find amusing, entertaining, bizarre or downright irritating? Sure. Show me a person living in a country, any country – be it their own or another country – that is absolutely 100% happy with everything all the time and I’ll show you an idiot.

I’m sure there are plenty of Latvians living in Ireland who think we’re a strange bunch. (We are.) It’s pretty much part of any expat’s existence to pick up on the unusual or the different. Just because we talk about it (or write about it) doesn’t mean that we hate the country we live in.

So back to the post in question. What people don’t seem to realise is that this is ONE post out of ONE HUNDRED AND ONE posts. The post before that one was about a trip to the doctor’s and the one after it was about brushing your teeth in the shower – fascinating stuff, I know. I’ve been writing this blog since the end of January. Yes, the overall tone of the blog is sarcastic and tongue-in-cheek (and I thought funny) – but it was never meant to be hurtful or offensive, though clearly some people are taking it that way.

I’ve written perfectly pleasant posts about my trips around Latvia, my lovely students, about going rollerblading, about baking, about great nights out, friends coming to visit – all accompanied by plenty of pretty pictures. So why do you think kasjauns.lv wanted to publish this one in particular? Quite simply, because it is a bit negative and because they knew it would upset people and cause controversy – and bring people to their website.

The fact of the matter is people love to complain. I’m no exception, and among Latvians it’s practically a national pastime. The economy, the politicians, the police, the Russians, the roads, the healthcare and education systems, the EU, the wages, the weather (but only when it’s too hot)… the only thing is, and you have to be careful here, you’re not allowed to actually agree with them. (It’s kind of like having a crazy family but you’re the only one who’s allowed to say it. If anyone else does, you have to punch them in the mouth to keep face.) God forbid you should actually start a blog about it. But I did.

And last week, I published a few less than flattering pictures of Riga. So what? I mean, really, so freaking what? This area exists. I live in it. Why shouldn’t I post pictures of it if I want to? Am I bringing shame to Latvia and every Latvian? Am I disrespecting Latvian culture? Am I a stupid, narrow-minded piece of shit in serious need of psychological care because of it? Seemingly so, if you believe the hype.

The majority of negative messages are along the lines of ‘If you hate it so much, why don’t you get the F*** out of our country and go back to your F****** Ireland?’ (One guy even offered to start fundraising.) Well, OK, let’s think about that for a second. If every foreigner who lives here who has ever said a negative thing about Latvia was forced to leave, where would that leave the country? Likewise, if every Latvian who ever said anything negative was kicked out –

Jānis 1: Oh man, my heating bills this month are out of control!

Jānis 2: Get out.

Well, there’d be very few people left.

Which brings us to my beloved Jāņi. Is every man in the country called Jānis? Of course not. Does every woman wear leopard print? No. But both have become a bit of a running joke and a blog theme so I keep them. If a Latvian started a blog on Ireland where every Irish person was called Paddy or Bridget, wore green, drank Guinness and danced around pots of gold, would it bother me? Not in the slightest.

If they went to Sheriff Street or Dolphin’s Barn, took some pictures and posted them, would I mind? Again no, because these places are every bit as much of a part of Dublin as O’Connell Street, Grafton Street and Temple Bar (actually more so than Temple Bar because Irish people don’t really go there). I’d just congratulate them on making it out alive without wearing a bullet-proof vest or having a SWAT team handy.

There are sketchy areas in every city – NOT JUST RIGA. I know this and thought that most people would have the intelligence to realise that without me spelling it out. It turns out I was wrong.

Another group of people wanted to know what I’m doing about the situation in Latvia apart from bitching and whining. I don’t know. I’m doing what anyone else is doing. I’m working, paying taxes, spending my money in the country, teaching people English so they have better opportunities, helping my friends when they need it so they get better jobs, sending representatives of Latvia to international conferences with correct presentations and speeches. I’ve recently joined an expat networking group that aims to help young Latvian entrepreneurs get their business ideas off the ground. Is that enough? Who knows?

Oh, and I also write this blog which, like it or hate it, gets people here and abroad talking about Latvia. Today alone, it’s been read by thousands of people, including politicians and journalists – and probably other people who do matter and can actually change things.

But at the end of the day, it’s just a blog – about Latvia, written by an Irish girl. So I ask you, seriously, in a country where a supermarket has just collapsed killing dozens of innocent people, the prime minister has resigned, the government has been dissolved and a good proportion of the population are hovering around the poverty mark, why is everyone talking about me and my blog?

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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 Expat, Latvia and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

400 Responses to Breaking News! I do not hate Latvia!

  1. Aisma says:

    Hey!
    I’m Latvian (not currently living in LV) and I found your last post entertaining. I completely agree about so many things that you pointed out (apart from the leopard print, only russians were that shit), but I can understand why people got upset, it’s like you said – you’re the only one who can point out that your family’s crazy, if someone else does it – it’s offensive. I think the main bit where you possible struck a chord was the photos and it’s not because.. well I don’t know, not your fault they exist.. but because it’s like pouring salt into a wound. We know they exist and we don’t want anyone to see them, it’s embarrassing and shameful. So when a foreigner (who we dearly hope loves our country and sees ONLY the good bits) points out something awful we have no choice (or we never learned that there are other ways to go about things) but become defensive. So all I wanted to say is – we (Lavians) are use to getting very protective and defensive and in-your-face when a chord has been struck, but it doesn’t mean that we mean it. We have a very “thick skin” and can handle a lot of criticism and harden-up attitude, so we sort of expect (or rather forget that their mentality is different) that from everyone else, we expect them not to take it too seriously and move on pretty quickly without any permanent damage in their self-esteem.
    Hope you’re well and enjoying your Latvian experience 🙂

    • Expat Eye says:

      Hey! Thanks for the explanation! I’m OK – I recovered pretty quickly 😉 I never could have imagined that post would get the attention that it did though! Oh well – live and learn 😉
      Linda.

      • Aisma says:

        That’s the sad part – Latvians are overly drawn to the negative stuff.. Every time I go back for a visit i’m met with (what to me seems like) the most grumpy, unpolite and sad bunch of people and instantly feel slightly out of place because I smile and say “thank you” .. but then two weeks later i’m just like them! ha ha

      • Expat Eye says:

        Ha ha! Yeah, the positive posts I’ve written barely got a flicker of attention – the negative ones, wow 😉
        The sad faces are something I still haven’t got used to! Though I notice I’m becoming more like them as well – time to leave 😉

      • Aisma says:

        Well at least I hope you have enough positive memories! It’s not all bad 🙂 Best of luck!

      • Expat Eye says:

        Thank you! And yes, I have a fair few positive memories as well 🙂 It will take a while to process it all I guess! It hasn’t sunk in that I’m really leaving yet!

      • Aisma says:

        be careful – you might miss it! 😉

      • Expat Eye says:

        That’s what I’m scared of haha! 🙂

  2. Keiron West says:

    Hey,

    My name is Keiron, originally from the England, been living in Latvia on and off since 2009, I have had the pleasure of tasting Lāčplēsis from the French bar…. not sure if you know of it and I enjoyed the winter of 2009 going down to a seriously cold -29c, I just wanted to know if you are still in Riga? have you been anywhere else if Latvia?

    • Keiron West says:

      in Latvia 😀

      • Expat Eye says:

        Hi Keiron, yep, I’ve been to a few places! Jurmala, Sigulda, Bauska, Rundales Pils, Tukums, Kuldiga, Cesis, Liepaja, Pavilosta – few more on the list! How about you? There are posts on a few of my travelling adventures – Kuldiga was the best in my opinion!

      • Keiron West says:

        hey

        not sure if this is the right place to reply, I have only really been to Riga and Bauska, what did you think of Bauska? I am interested in exploring a we bit more now I have decided to stay here and just wanted to get some ideas, will look into the places you have mentioned. cheers 🙂

        Keiron

      • Expat Eye says:

        I wasn’t overly impressed by Bauska 😉 Kuldiga is definitely worth a look, Cesis is known as ‘The most Latvian town in Latvia’ – not sure what that’s supposed to mean but it’s got a nice castle! I’d leave Liepaja til summer as it comes alive then. I was there in November originally and it was very depressing – totally different place mid-summer! Have yet to make it to Ventspils and Daugavpils – hoping to get to the latter next month. Will leave Ventspils til summer – although the only thing anyone ever has to say about it is that it’s ‘clean’ 🙂 You can drop me a line at linda_ogrady@hotmail.com if you like! Probably easier than chatting on here – or find me on FB 🙂

  3. archecotech says:

    Dam, I wish I got just half the negative comments. Oh well guess it means Russians just don’t give a crap. Move to Russia it’s a lot easier, Hehehe. But then I haven’t written any negative posts as of yet. Just remember everybody needs a scapegoat, you just happen to …………well you know.

  4. Jānis Bērziņš says:

    First, happy New Year!

    Now, in your place, instead of being afraid os Saschas and Paschas, I’m afraid of Tonys, Brooklyns, Sydneys, Georgias, Joshuas. Sure, London suburbs are a good example of cleaness, safety, and cordial people smiling around and saying “Hello, dear!” Well, not for free we Latvians had a sticker saying “Dear British guests: Please don’t pee on our national monuments.” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2532094/Welcome-Britain-2014-Shameful-scenes-alcohol-fuelled-New-Years-chaos-spills-towns-cities-Britain.html. Ah, but you’re Irish, right? Sure. I know. I’m just trying to show how near your own country you can find the same things you observed here in Riga.

    Of course, you can find many Latvians suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, that will support you and say “I’m ashamed, you’re so right. Please don’t listen for people saying you’re wrong, etc.”. The thing is I’m an expat too. I born in Brazil, but I’m Latvian. And I’ve been living in Latvia for some time. Yes. I experienced living in the suburbs. My flat was robbed once, something I never experienced in Brazil (believe it or not). But, in all countries it’s the same. If you cannot make enough money to live in a good place/neighborhood, I agree, it sucks. But the city and the country aren’t guilty of you being unable to make enough money to live the life you believe you deserve. I also agree the wages are extremely low, while prices are very high. I know by myself, believe me. Latvia is underdeveloped, and this is common in underdeveloped countries. Thus, it needs change.

    The bottom line is that or you move out the country or you start doing something to change it. Many Latvians chose to run way, but I believe in change. To change, it’s necessary to identify what needs to be changed. You did it, as clear in your post. Now what? What are you doing to change the things you don’t like, making this country better? Big changes start with small actions.

    Be well!

    Jānis

    • Expat Eye says:

      Hi Jānis, thanks for your comment! I do actually have some ideas on how to make the place better – watch this space. 😉 But like you say, they’re going to be small actions. I’m curious though as to why everyone is suddenly expecting an Irish woman to make the country better – shouldn’t the Latvians be fighting for that themselves?? As a matter of interest, what are you doing?

      As for the Brits, as they said, the vast majority of people had a nice night with family and friends – they don’t make the newspapers unfortunately. Same with the Brits who come here – the VAST majority of them don’t use Milda as a urinal – again, they don’t make the papers.

      As to my notorious area, I’m perfectly happy here. I think I pay enough money – I’m not willing to pay another 100+ euro to live in Old Town or 100 euro less to live out in some suburb. It’s a bit rough around the edges but it’s fine. There are plenty of families living around here and kids out playing in the street so it can’t be too scary. I can walk everywhere which is important to me and I’m perfectly located for my job.

      The point of the post wasn’t ‘poor little me’ – I pay more in rent alone than a lot of Latvians earn in a month. How do we fix that? I’m open to ideas!

      Thanks again for the comment, Linda.

      • Arturs says:

        Linda,
        Wow! You are about politics and market regulation asking for rent balancing according to the average income 🙂
        This is another proof of corruption and absence of the free market, as well as (probably) double standards:
        1) Amount for rent asked by owner shall be filled or no deal, right? It is impossible that most of the apartments on the market are strongly above the market price, right? So, conclusion is simple- if there are no legal sources to cover delta in between of legal income and market price then people covers it a) from savings (this impossible in long term, right?); b) illegal income (it should not be criminal, just not taxed). In that case real estate market is basic source of money laundering as well as construction business has great deal with corruption (as everywhere around the globe)
        2) Probably you were asked higher rent than the locals. Why? Because you are foreigner. You are, presumably, rich. You are victim of scum. Sorry this happened to you. This happens as there are quite few offers on the market for “foreigners”. So, this is something like ‘african scum’ (naming it so as I was faced to “you are white-you shall be rich, pay me now” in Africa for the first time in my life).
        3) I have experience for being in UK as Latvian businessman, as office worker and agri-worker. Vast of experience. If I am working with the same passion as I do in UK, I am earning in Latvia almost the same amount. That’s why I am back home. Nobody else but me will keep my place tidy and well managed. Now I am facing problem- if I am hiring workers to help me then at the end of the day usually I hear “this is slave work and I won’t come to work tomorrow” 🙂 So, if we have high standards and willing to succeed then we should work as a slaves, right? At least for some time. EU grants are just money, but investment for growth is result of hard work regarding every single person in our small and beautiful country.

  5. Hello Linda, or as i should say cau linda 😀
    Anyway I was actually born and raised in latvia 🙂
    It is a wonderful country and there was actualy a blonde parade with women who are blonde 😀 Have you tried my favourite chocolate Laima Lately ? It is delicous and one of the top chocolates in latvia 🙂 Oh yes and linda i am latvian and i live in ireland as well ( Limerick ) And there are lots of latvians who are my friends and best friends that live i ireland ( limerick ) I am going to visit my home in latvia soon Bauska 😉 Anyway did you here that you can bring your money in latvia because they are getting euros and cents 🙂 That is so great 🙂

    • Expat Eye says:

      It’s handy alright! Hope you’re having a nice time in Limerick! I know a guy here who lived in Limerick for a while and he sounds Irish when he speaks now 😉 I like Laima chocolate although I haven’t had it in a while – working my way through some ginger cookies at the moment 😉 Hope you have a nice time in Bauska when you come back – I visited last year 😉 Linda.

  6. Pecora Nera says:

    Sending you a hug, keep on blogging some of us have a sense of humour.

  7. cantaloupe says:

    Haha, actually some countries do kick you out if you say enough negative things about them. (Not naming any names, of course.)

    I think your blog is lovely. And haters gonna hate. And you should enjoy the attention, ignore the insults, and keep being awesome.

  8. No hate mail from me. Nothing I can say will change what happend – just sending you hugs from one expat to another. xx

    • Expat Eye says:

      Thanks! I think I’ve managed to avoid an international incident anyway 😉 Still have to hear what my mum thinks about the whole thing – that could actually be worse 😉 One of her best friends at home is Latvian!

  9. Margarita says:

    I heard about all this fuss from a colleague, so I had to read your infamous post. I think it is just great and witty, and even being a Latvian I really had to laugh, so you should not bother about people with oversized egos who are totally deprived of sense of humour taking everything too personally. Another thing is that people who have never lived in a foreign country for a longer time are not able to understand that sarcasm very often is the best way to deal with things (I lived in India for a while and Indians would definitely behead me if they read my blog ;)). Best of luck here with us and keep writing, it is really superb!

    • Expat Eye says:

      Hi Margarita! Thanks so much for your comment! Really glad you like it! I’ve just published a new one 😉
      Oh, and an Indian guy here wants me to write a post to help him flog his mobile phone – um, no 😉 Is your blog still going? Linda.

  10. liene says:

    Because there is a saying in Latvian “Savu brāli/māsu drīksti sist tikai tu pats.” Which goes like – Only you can beat your sibling. So that’s why all the Latvians got so angry. Because someone else was beating them with jokes and sarcasm (which I actually love). So now you have one more thing about Latvians on your list and no hurt feelings.

    • Expat Eye says:

      Hi Liene, thank you for that. I think there might be a new post later – I’m feeling recovered 😉 Linda.

    • Piektdienis says:

      This sounds quite true (the fact that only locals may ridicule their country), but then again it doesn’t seem to be nothing particularly Latvian. For comparision, I invite you to read anthropologist Kate Fox’s “Watching the English” — quite a funny book and one where you shake your head when you realise how similar your own culture’s strange things can be to those in a different culture, with barely some local differences.

  11. jamesrowe20 says:

    Hi, really interesting to see your opinion after living in Riga for that long. I did my exchange there last year, for 6 months, and loved it. All us exchange students also joked about everyone being named Janis 😀

    I know there are ugly parts of Riga, but all around the centre is so beautiful – as are many of the people. I am in my final year in university, and trying to figure out what to do next. I was thinking about going back to Riga to take the CELTA course, as it is so much cheaper there. Do you think this would be a good idea??

    Also, which area are you staying in? I lived in andrejsala, near the docks, and thought it was pretty nice, once I got used to it. I think as I lived there less than a year, I probably still had rose-tinted glasses.

    • Expat Eye says:

      Hi James! Thanks for the comment! I know several people who’ve done their CELTA here I could put you in touch with, if you’re interested? I can help you find a job if you do decide to come back as well.

      Ah, the Janises 😉 I have a big soft spot for them 😉

      I’m living in one of the top two dodgy areas of Riga if you believe the hype 😉 Personally, I’ve had no problems though!

      Linda.

      • jamesrowe20 says:

        Really? That would be awesome, thankyou. I would really consider living there in future, though I haven’t lived in any other country for so long, so maybe I should shop around 😉

        If you could put me in contact, that would be great. I think there is more than one place to take it there, would like to choose the best! Can post my email, or something (does wordpress do private messages? I’m new to it).

      • Expat Eye says:

        I can see your email so I’ll send you a private message! 🙂

    • rigaenglish says:

      James, I did CELTA in Riga. It does seem to be the cheapest place and the trainers are excellent, really recommend!

  12. I believe tolerance is a very important part of understanding. I’m from Mexico and yes, I might feel a little bit annoyed when someone talks bad about my country WITHOUT having visited it but when the opinion comes from someone who not only visited but also LIVED in my country for a period of time then I have no other choice than to completely agree with their opinion. Why? Because, in 99% of the cases it is the truth. No country is perfect and it is a shame that some people are willing to lynch someone from speaking the truth. I totally support you!

  13. I guess people feel like they can disparage their own team / country / people/ religion, but an “outsider” can’t. Here, it’s the same with the New York Mets, but I digress.
    I think that if these disparagers want to voice their own opinion, let them start their own blog.
    Chin up! You’re doing a great job.

  14. Kristine says:

    Hi Linda,
    it’s Kristine here, the Latvian girl living in Dublin. First of all, I wanted to apologise for not letting you know when I was going to LV to meet up for a couple of beers. I was at home but had a very busy and quite stressful time, so I remembered about it only when I was going back. I’ll let you know when i’m going to be in LV again (probably in Feb/March).
    Second of all – don’t let them bring you down. I think your blog is very funny and the people who comment on sites like kasjauns, delfi, tvnet etc. are a special bunch of people who get their everyday dose of happiness just by trolling/hating somewhere, because, frankly, it’s their only source of happiness in their otherwise very miserable life.

  15. John Allen says:

    I think you are a very talented writer and I love your stuff.
    Very frank and amusing!
    I live on Queensland’s Gold Coast, a very different place.
    Keep it up.

  16. Jānis says:

    why is everyone talking about me and my blog?

    Because the first impression is that you’re saying that all Riga and its people are like your post. In other words, because you made a strong generalization; and, as generalization, it turns to be a lie, even if it’s true in itself.

  17. doingthingsnow says:

    Hi, Linda 🙂

    Kasjauns brought me here but your witty, sarcastic (that’s a good thing in my book) and most of all – hilariously true observations of my birthplace made me stay. I read through the blog (yes, the entire thing) in one evening while giggling uncontrollably, and have been checking back for a new post since. I moved to the UK immediately after I finished my A levels (well, the Latvian equivalent) mainly because I wanted to obtain higher education in the UK but also because many of the things you write about (no smiling, no greetings, no sensitivity & tact, no… you get the idea) were getting me down in a big way. There are so many good things about Latvia as well, such as Līgo, the Song and Dance Festival, the beautiful nature and rich history etc and all the trolls seem to have missed all of that from your posts completely!

    Please don’t stop blogging – there are so many people (judging by the comments) who are enamoured with you and your opinions 🙂 Your writing is brilliant, keep it up! Also – this has been pointed out before but it’ll make your life so much easier if you remember that “a Latvian’s favourite dish is another Latvian” and “I don’t know what you’re on about but I have an opinion” are popular sayings for a reason…

    P.S. Brushing teeth in the shower though – really?! I’ve never heard of it and have never done it in my entire life. By the sink only. With warm water, naturally 😉

    • Expat Eye says:

      Thanks so much for your comment! I love that expression – I wonder if any other nationality has a similar one or if only Latvians enjoy chowing down on each other 😉 There probably won’t be a new post for a while – although hopefully people have found something else to be OUTRAGED over by now 😉 Linda.

  18. Martin says:

    Well, it seems you are getting popular in Latvia. And considering the size of Latvia, I’d say – you are getting VERY popular 😀 But don’t let that frighten you, popularity comes and goes. Soon Latvians will get used to your articles and accept them for what they are.

    Today I heard some very true jokes about Latvia which I wanted to share. Some of them you have already experienced and blogged about, but still they sound funny and so true.

    Latvians eat Polish apples, drink Estonian milk, go shopping in Lithuanian shops and are so proud of their Latvian traditions.
    There is no place in Latvia where it takes almost 3 hours to travel to, except for driving from one end of Riga to another.
    In Latvia more people are saved by TV shows “No tabu” and “Voice of the people” than by police and emergency services.
    Latvia is so powerful that Russia cosiders us their greatest enemy.
    Tourists who arrive to Latvia by train might think that they came to a city called Origo.
    Latvia has enough money only for large salaries, and not for small ones.
    In Latvia we don’t curse in Latvian language. We have Russian language for that purpose.
    In Latvia it’s cheaper to park your car in a forbidden place than to park it in a toll parking.
    In Latvia you might get a punch in your face just because you asked some passer-by what time it is.

    I could go on and on, but I’ll end with your favorite one (no pun intended … well, maybe just a little :D):
    In Latvia beer is cheaper than mineral water.

  19. Ieva Saulite says:

    Dear Linda! Read most of the posts on your blog this week after reading the article in kasjauns.lv this week. I am sorry to hear you got a lot of negative comments as both my Irish boyfriend and I (Latvian) think that your blog is great! Your posts are interesting and they are hilarious! Keep it up, please:-) P.S. We are flying out to Latvia in 2 weeks time, let us know if you need any bacon or Club Orange:-). Ieva from Wexford

  20. At the risk of giving you yet another comment to deal with… Firstly, looking on the positive side, well done on getting your blog out to so many people! And secondly, it’s pretty obvious to anyone that reads your writing regularly that you really quite like Latvia, in a strange sort of way… the fuss will die down soon enough. So are you like a proper Latvian celebrity now then? 😉

    • Expat Eye says:

      I think so 😉 It seems to be pretty easy to become a celebrity here. I don’t think they ‘pap’ people though 😉 Yeah, all of these people who have read one post seem to know me better than I know myself 😉 Everyone’s an amateur psychologist all of a sudden!

  21. Livonian says:

    Well, guess what, reading your blog only made me more homesick, I’ve been feeling homesick EVERY DAY since I left Latvia, reminiscing about the little streets of Riga I used to walk and the wonderful cafes I used to go to. High culture is more accessible in Riga than here in the States. Here you have to pay hundreds of bucks to go to opera which you can do cheaply in Riga. There is much less freedom in the West these days too. Lawyers, government and surveillance cams everywhere. Anyway, I’ve never thought I’d leave Latvia for good and, in fact, I’m planning to move back there in several years and probably stay there for good. It’s not all that great in the West after all.

  22. lettonparle says:

    Hello! I saw your message on kasjauns.lv website. Unfortunetly you made bad decision to allow to post your “opinion” about Latvia.

    But I support you because you are brave. But haters gonna hate. I got little affection on this blog. Its like reading very interesting book.
    Dont worry about Latvians who send you back to Ireland. Understand them! They love their own built country! They will catch any little negative comments very sharppp! I lived in Scotland and London this summer and I am back right now in Latvia, Riga because there are natural things and enviroment. Why to smile or greet each other if you have hard day? Why forest/wood is bad thing on weekends in Latvia? Why we have so many dreadful houses?

    We are natural inside and outside. (UK is innatural in all things) thats why I am back in my lovely homeland!!! All things are appropiate for me and I hope you appreciate your 3 years living natural. Dreadfull houses are interesting because they speak but London highest skyscraper “modern shit” whose name is SHARD dont speak with us because its all perfect. Perfect UK are boring. Imperfect LV land is interesting. Every tree growing naturally in forest but not in Scotland. I hate those scottish tree rows…boooring.. Sorr but its the fact of reality.
    Keep to share your view about my country and I will enjoy it like a book. Cheers from Riga

    • Expat Eye says:

      Jesus, if you think the UK is perfect, you’re mad 😉 Sure there are some modern buildings but so many unemployed, down and out, etc. Cheers to you too. Linda.

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