Now that I can see the light at the end of my Latvian tunnel, I’ve been thinking about how I’ve changed over the last few years as a result of living here. Here’s what my profound thought process has come up with:
- I’m now a bit like that kid from The Sixth Sense, except I see leopard print.
- I’m used to emailing into a black hole. I don’t waste time on niceties any more as, 90% of the time, I get nothing back anyway.
- I’ve realised that top-loader washing machines still exist.
- I have been known to ‘correct’ Latvians when they refer to Latvia as being part of Eastern Europe.
- I rinse my dishes more thoroughly.
- At the supermarket, I put potatoes that come in a mesh bag into a plastic bag. Or at least I do now, after nearly giving the cashier in Elvi a heart attack on Sunday evening.
- I’ve definitely become tougher. But hopefully not colder or harder, even though I might look it when walking around. It’s good to try to blend in.
- I wear heels less and less – I don’t want to blend in that much.
- I suffer from extreme bouts of ‘path rage’, mainly due to pedestrians who treat the pavement like a jousting arena, and drivers and cyclists who treat it as a Formula One track. My ‘path rage’ can range from foaming strings of obscenities to hitting a car with my handbag. (After seeing my life flash before my eyes, decorum went out the window as my handbag nearly went through it.)
- I now have a drawer of bags. I’m not sure why.
- I use the words ‘normal’ and ‘concrete’ in ways that I’m not sure are entirely correct any more – too many things sound ‘normal’ to me now…
- I think of my friends from Ireland as pork mules. My good friend, Julie, is now ‘Mulie’ in my head. My other friends’ names don’t rhyme as well, unfortunately. (Note to self: must find friend called ‘Bossage’ or something similar…)
- I believe that drinking the sap from birch trees is a perfectly acceptable thing to do.
- I have become the master of avoiding ‘Door Dominoes’. Door Dominoes is when you’re behind 4 or 5 people – Latvians – leaving or entering a public building through a swing door. The first person lets the door swing in the second one’s face, who in turn falls back into the third one, and so on.
- I’ve become a blogger. Sorry about that. (Not really.)
On the flipside, here’s how living in Latvia hasn’t changed me:
- I still don’t wear leopard print.
- I have never been to a Latvian sauna.
- I have never picked berries or mushrooms in the forest.
However, before I leave, I might try to rectify one or two of these oversights. I just haven’t decided which ones yet. Any ideas?