Giving expats a bad name

On Thursday evening, I went to an InterNations get-together. I enjoy these for a number of reasons. One – it’s an excuse to drink on a school night; two – I get to visit a new bar or café that I’ve usually been meaning to check out but never got around to doing it; three – I get to talk to cool people from all over the world. This time round it was Amplua in Old Town and, over the course of the evening, I spoke to people from Denmark, Austria, England, Norway, Poland, Italy, America, Iceland, Sweden, Slovakia, France and Hungary. And Latvia. (As it’s mainly an expat affair, I can only assume that they were there to find husbands…)


Lady in Red

The surprise of the evening was that there were FIVE Irish people in attendance – including my good self. FIVE. This is unheard of as the Irish are usually greatly outnumbered by other nationalities. Two of them I already knew so I set about finding the strays that I hadn’t encountered before.

One of them was absolutely charming. The other one – well. Judge for yourself.

Me: So, what are you doing in Latvia?

Ugh: Well, for the first five years, I was doing a Russian. Then I was doing a Latvian for a few years. Now I’m free! 

Me: (heave)

Ugh: Are you OK?

Me: I think I just threw up a little in my mouth. 

The sad thing is that the majority of the tossers you meet here are British or Irish. If you were to put the same question to a Swede, for example, you’d get a simple, bullshit-free answer that included a company, a position and a marital status. However, ask some of the Irish or British people living here what they do and you’ll get fluff about “having interests here” and “looking into opportunities”, when what they really mean is “I’m a horny old devil who likes eyeing up women young enough to be my daughter”. I don’t know if it’s like this in every country, but Latvia really does seem to attract some creepy old codgers.

But for me, even more disturbing was that during this exchange, a Latvian woman (who’d clearly staked out her prey) was giving me the Death Stare. Seriously? You’re more than welcome to this ‘prize’. I’d take a Jānis over this dude any day of the week.

Related post: What to expect when you’re expatting

About BerLinda

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

120 Responses to Giving expats a bad name

  1. Martin says:

    PPS please indulge me this one more post. I promise not to post again this month (unless you want me to). Since I’m on my favorite topic, I want to mention some reasons why I think Latvia is so completely awesome. (1) Awesome language. (2) Awesome folk music. (3) Awesome kids. (4) Awesome women. (5) Awesome pop music. (Including Soviet era groups such as Zodiak, perhaps the finest synth-based pop group ever). (6) OK I must admit the men are pretty awesome too. And freaking courageous. Just ask the Germans and/or Russians who tangled with them in the past. (7) Awesome flag. It sends shivers up my spine. (8) Awesome national anthem. (9) Awesome Riga. Cheers and thanks for indulging me.

  2. Martin says:

    P.S. just to follow up, there are certainly men, such as myself, who are interested only in faithful Latvian women who want a stable man and who want to raise Latvian kids in Latvia. I don’t want some young party girl and I am not looking for some kind of sexual adventure. I just want a peaceful and rather boring married life with lots of children. At the risk of repeating myself, I say again, we need more Latvians. LONG LIVE THE LATVIAN PEOPLE! Thanks and have a nice day. And no, I have not started drinking yet. I am very serious about this.

  3. Martin says:

    One of my famous relatives ( a son of President Tyler) married his second wife in his early seventies and had two sons, both of who are still alive last I knew. They are both in their eighties and have had wonderful lives. Of course my relative married a much younger woman. So I see nothing wrong with an older man (50 or even 60 something) marrying a Latvian woman in order to propagate the Latvian branch of our European race with a fine set of genes included. Of course many will disagree, but they are wrong. 😉 The main thing is we need more Latvians and even half-Latvians if the non-Latvian half is not too distant in the family tree sense, provided the children will be raised in Latvia as Latvians. Long live Latvia!!!!!

  4. Pingback: Why do people move to Latvia? | Expat Eye on Latvia

  5. archecotech says:

    Keep your guns (or better yet typing fingers) forget the safe house? in your case I think all you did was extend the party for this guy (a little more phlegm, please). Stalkers (with a little “whiskey” in hand) have more sense then this guy. I went to a expat gathering here in Kazan once and watched them all jockeying for first position. Understood that wasn’t a horse I wanted to ride and never went back. I think I’m feeling a bit sorry for the Germans, an Irish Oak is coming.

  6. Pingback: A public “apology” | Expat Eye on Latvia

  7. 1WriteWay says:

    As others have said, we have our “fair” share of tossers here in the US. No matter the nationality, creepy is creepy 🙂

  8. Creepy expat eater says:

    You are so right there. I saw some disgusting fellahs while there. The worst ever in fact. Once I divorced, I got out of there fast! High death rates, low quality of men (LVs, RUSs and expats) was a tragic truth!
    But probably the most creepy live (or lived) in Russia. I communicated with one who edited an expat publication which was the most sexist piece of crap I’ve ever seen – worse than a bikie magazine!

  9. expatlingo says:

    The last time I read something like that it was regarding horny old men in Thailand. Is Lativia the Thailand of Eastern Europe. Does that make it two ticks down and one tick up (forests) now?

  10. Sometimes the smallest details in your posts are the most hilarious—>> “Ugh”

  11. Photo: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band ?

  12. Groan! Creepy old dust bags are everywhere. We have so many of them here too! And sadly, many would take their bait. 😦

  13. Anna says:

    Thar’s what it’s like at Moscow’s Internations meetings. Or just expat gatherings. I am not sure what’s the issue – country of origin or country of presence. But it’s the reason I stopped going to those things.

    • Expat Eye says:

      You mean you’re not grateful to 60-year-olds for leering at you?!
      To be fair, most of the people there are really nice and good company. I’ve had some great evenings and met some lovely people. Just the odd one or two creeps that spoil these things for the rest!

  14. barbedwords says:

    Looks like fun…I meet very few English people here so don’t know if they behave like tossers or not. Funnily enough, I do know a couple of Irish people and (apart from all the swearing and drinking) they are excellent representatives for Ireland 🙂

  15. Mr Kev says:

    It’s times like these that you remember why you left the anglo-saxon world, isn’t it? I’ve not got an internations here (because I live in a village/small city) but I’m considering it when I move, to try and be outside the EFL bubble from the off in Lisbon.
    I will remember to avoid the Brits and the sleazier of the Irish! 😉

    • Expat Eye says:

      Well, the fat dudes in their 60s probably won’t be that into you – I reckon you’ll be safe enough 😉 And yes, it is nice to talk to people who don’t teach! And are from so many interesting places!

  16. “.. Latvia really does seem to attract some creepy old codgers.” Maybe the problem is that Latvian girls are interested in attraction old…?, because they are trying to make their lives better as they can. I know, it is really sad!
    But your evening looks fab! I didn’t know that you are meeting each other in Latvia.

    • Expat Eye says:

      Yeah, I think there’s definitely an element of the women here encouraging them! And yes, it’s usually once a month – this month there were two though. That picture was taken in Cydonia in Bergs Bazars – nice place!

    • I wouldn’t be so sure those girls are Latvians. Such a stuff mostly happens in Riga where Latvians are minority (as well as in other big cities where situation with national distribution is pretty much the same).

      Any old foreign creep in countryside would have no success. Only if they are about the same age.

      • Expat Eye says:

        Right, I keep forgetting – Latvians can do no wrong 😉

      • Creepy expat eater says:

        ‘Cause it’s true! (;

      • rower says:

        i object! there are always a couple (or a dozen) or two of exclusions (which truely makes this rule a rule). i’ve seen enogh girls, trying to sell off their asses (literally!), and that had nothing to do with their ethnic identitiy – just with how much money the “other side” could offer (or seemed to be able to offer).

      • Expat Eye says:

        Overruled 😉

  17. Pecora Nera says:

    Ha ha ha, keep the posts coming on Monday mornings please.
    I signed up to join the InterNations, but have never managed to attend a meeting. I keep getting e mails from them asking if I am still alive.

  18. bevchen says:

    I’ve heard of Internations but I’m annoyed by the idea that you have to sign up to their website before you can do anything. NO, don’t force me to sign up before I’ve even tried your services!

    Second Irish guy is one of those morons that gives other expats a bad name.

    • Expat Eye says:

      Yeah, they say you should sign up but there are usually a few there that haven’t 😉 The forums can be useful as well – but you’ve got your Janis for local information so you probably don’t need them!

  19. MiaMusings says:

    Maybe its time i went to one of the Inter Nations events! Been meaning to for over a year now…but somehow always managed to find something else to do instead. Really didn’t feel like meeting more expats 🙂 locals are cool and fun in SA.

  20. Sharn says:

    How interesting. I had no idea that these things existed!

    Yay for getting pissed on a week night!

  21. mmarinaa says:

    Our is organized by a Lebanese man who is such a sweetheart I could die. But they are most frequently and consistently attended by an older Arab man who is in love with any non-Arab woman. He is actually quite nice, but goes for women half his age and ten times as attractive as him. Ugh, and this one dude who is player central and in love with one of my friends. And a British/Nigerian who breaks my heart. And an Italian man that my friend hooks up with twice a year like clockwork. There’s also a consistent Ukrainian woman who likes to talk to me about horoscopes. And so many woman who’re recently single. It’s like “break up with your foreign boyfriend, go to Internations and bitch about him to other recently single women.”

    I don’t really go to them all that often anymore, but the older Arab man put me in charge of arranging a game night that still hasn’t happened. My bad…

  22. Simone says:

    I went to a few Internations meetings here in Brussels, but I didn’t like them at all… too posh, everybody dressed like they were at a fancy business evening.
    Judging by the pictures it looks like a more relaxed environment

  23. MrJohnson says:

    He said he was free! You don’t like free?

  24. Mārtiņš says:

    “I’d take a Jānis over this dude any day of the week.” Why is there an article preceding Jānis?

  25. England and Ireland have not cornered the market on tossers.

    You can find douchecanoes here in the US that would give you that same exact response to your question. Best to just creep away slowly from these individuals.

  26. rigaenglish says:

    It was much worse in 2006 pre-crisis. There were actual real life sex tourists, not just the ones made up by the Latvian press. Guys who genuinely were here because they believed all the bull about Riga having a serious imbalance of young men and young guys and that Latvian women would be falling over themselves to date factory workers from Liverpool. Besides them, the now defunct De Lacey’s was full of old, fat, boring Irish guys talking about property investments. Things have definitely improved.

  27. There are plenty of less than desirable expats in other places…. The worst I saw was in China.

  28. Amy R says:

    I’ve always been tempted to visit an Internations event, but expat events tend to be the same the world over. There are many categories of expat and some of more savoury than others!

    • Expat Eye says:

      Yeah, I’m always suspicious of the ones who can’t actually explain what the hell they’re doing here! They’re generally good fun though (the events that is) – I recommend giving it a go! Where do you live and where are you from?

  29. lafemmet says:

    1. You are giving too much credit to the Americans.
    2. I am so jealous you have that opportunity. I want to go to an Internations event, but I would have to travel 3 hours.
    3. I have met some amazing Irish in my travels. I am shocked that you weren’t describing an American.
    4. Still jealous. I want to go to an Internations event. ..(Stamping feet throwing a fit!)

    • Expat Eye says:

      I met a lovely American diplomat at the last one – he had the same surname as my mother before she got married 😉 Seemingly the US Embassy here comes to a standstill whenever I publish a post 🙂 The Americans that I know here are generally great!

      • lafemmet says:

        That is really nice to hear! I think a lot of the good ones get out of the homeland. 😉 P.S. Janis would be lucky to have you.

      • Expat Eye says:

        Ha ha, the poor Janises. They’ll be so glad when I leave the country!

      • lafemmet says:

        You never know what you’ve got til it’s gone…. then they will be stuck with leopard print and heels.Heaven help them! When are you leaving? I hope not soon. I look forward to your posts. you really make me laugh.

      • Expat Eye says:

        At the moment, I’m hoping September. But don’t worry, there’ll definitely be an Expat Eye on Germany 😉 Then it will be the Wolfgangs’ turn 😉

      • lafemmet says:

        LOL, I will be looking forward to that! Stay away from Serbia, I don’t recommend the Vladimir’s. But if you want to visit, you are welcome anytime!

      • Expat Eye says:

        I might take you up on that 😉 I know a few Vladimirs here so I know what to expect!

  30. I hardly ever hang out with expats. 90% of them are totally up-their-own-arses annoying. Did you make at least one new pal?

  31. So InterNations is basically the grown-up version of Couchsurfing meetings? Same shit – new wrapping?

  32. Cindi says:

    I haven’t had a chance to get to the Bergen InterNations get-togethers — too far away from where I live — but would love to for the reasons you write: it would be great to meet other countries’ expats, not just the fellow Americans I already know from the Americans in Bergen group. You had a mini-United Nations represented there!

  33. TRex says:

    Something something about ones behaviour deteriorating proportional to ones distance from home.

    I work international construction. I’ll leave it at that.

    • Expat Eye says:

      Yeah, maybe that’s it! Although the Americans are much farther from home than the Irish but still don’t act like such buffoons 😉

  34. nancytex2013 says:

    You looked faboosh, darling!
    p.s. What’s the latest on Yummy?

  35. Mārčuks says:

    HAHA!:D Great experience with nationals of Yours. 😀

  36. June says:

    Love the red dress! I’ve been a bit afraid of these InterNations shindigs and you haven’t really alleviated my fears! Glad you had a Gould time despite the desperate Irish folk!

    • Expat Eye says:

      I do recommend it in general! The other nationalities are generally lovely! And it’s nice to chat to people who are in the same boat you are! Maybe some of them also have cocks – you never know! 😉

    • Expat Eye says:

      And thanks – I do like that dress 😉 Mango Christmas sale in Dublin!

  37. Whoa, Internations sure are crazy! I went to one in Argentina and it was mostly the same: locals trying to obtain a second nationality haha

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