Finally, it’s the positive post…

“Just wondering why didn’t I realise earlier that you are some dirty scumbag from Ireland. That is the only excuse to that cynical and dishonorable generalisation of latvian mammas especially on Mother’s day.
My suggestion is put on your beloved Penney’s pigammas and go back to your travellers mobile house where you belong the best with all of the Irish “pride”.
You are disgrace to any mother and any nation. Scum!”

After this incredibly constructive criticism from Daila, I began to realise that I’ve recently been pissing my readers off a bit (more than usual). However, as there’s nothing particularly t-shirt-friendly about this one, I’ve decided to take a different tack and write something positive – lest people start calling me a ‘miserably looser who needs to make a family’ again. So this one’s for all my regular readers who keep coming back even when they don’t like something, and don’t throw their toys out of the pram when they disagree with a post.

STUFF LATVIA DOES WELL:

(Note: I’m skipping ‘beautiful’ women and nature, as, quite frankly, I’m not that into chicks or trees. This is more about the practical, everyday things I encounter.)

1. Wifi access

Latvia has arguably the best internet access of any country I’ve been to – and I’ve been to a lot of places. Cafés, bars, restaurants, hotels, shops, shopping malls, stations, the airport, certain taxis, long-distance buses… the list of places where free and unlimited wifi is available is pretty damn impressive. In fact, I’m amazed if somewhere doesn’t have wifi. The downside of this is that it means that every troll and troglogdyte in the country also has speedy access to the internet, but I guess you take the good with the bad. (Incidentally, I’m not referring to the charming Daila here – she has been happily enjoying the internet access Ireland provides for the last ten years…)

2. Public transport

This one mainly refers to Riga, as that’s really the only place where I’ve used public transport, with the exception of the bone-shattering trams in Daugavpils. Trams, trolley buses and ‘ordinary’ buses provide regular services that are rarely, if ever, late. Each stop has a detailed timetable that is accurate and up-to-date. Once on-board, the next stop is shown on screens and announced twice by a man with a funny voice. (Or a woman, but her voice isn’t as cool and I don’t go around imitating her saying ‘AREEEEEEEEEEEEEENAAAAAAAAA RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGA!’ the same way I do with him.) If you buy an ‘e-talons’ ticket, 10 journeys will cost you just €5.70, and it works on all forms of transport. Unfortunately, the roads are still shite, but hey, Latvia giveth with one hand, and taketh away with the other.

3. Shopping

I’m not talking about prices. Contrary to popular belief, Latvia is actually not that cheap. Clothing, electronics, cosmetics, books, etc. will cost you the same as in Western European countries, if not more. The quality is also questionable.

I’m referring to shop opening hours. Shopping centres and other stores are open until around 9pm every night, except Sundays – but even then, they are open until around 6pm. Smaller grocery stores generally open from 8am to 10pm, with some of the larger supermarkets open from 7am until 11pm or midnight in some cases. Supermarkets are even open on Christmas Day. I was amazed (and a bit shocked) to see that even during the three national days of mourning Latvia had for the Maxima tragedy, the shops stayed open. And not just the ‘essential’ ones – no, you could buy a wedding dress, or get your dog a haircut if you so desired.

Aside from that, alcohol is sold until 10pm every day, except for the shops that sell it 24 hours a day… don’t ask me how that works.

4. Banking services

OK, so most of the banks here are Scandinavian, but the service ‘on the ground’ here in Latvia is generally outstanding. On the rare occasions I have had to visit a branch, you select your service, take a ticket, and sit in a comfy chair while you wait to be called. The staff are always pleasant and helpful, even when you’re stupidly confused by your new electronic code card. (Sorry to the really patient girl in DNB on Elizabetes…)

Online banking services are excellent. I’ve only had a problem once in almost four years. I called the helpline and the problem was sorted out within minutes. And, almost every business here accepts cards – take note Germany! – I’ve even seen people pay for a pack of gum with their card.

5. Bitching

Sorry, I couldn’t resist…

Right, if you think I’ve missed anything, feel free to add it in the comments. I’m off to plan my outfit for tomorrow. Daila has, unwittingly, provided me with some inspiration…

Yes, it's the new look every woman in Latvia will soon be sporting - Penneys Pigammas and stilettos. What do you think?

Yes, it’s the new look every woman in Latvia will soon be sporting – Penneys Pigammas and stilettos. What do you think?

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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, Fashion, Humor, Humour, Latvia, Latvian women, Riga and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

163 Responses to Finally, it’s the positive post…

  1. janis says:

    I love your positive posts 😀 lol
    Latvians like positive posts 😀
    If you like Latvia, then Latvia likes you 😀 lol
    Ok, I am kidding.Sometimes I love your negative posts too, but seriously that mom trashing post was kind of over the top. Even the most unpleasant Latvians love their mothers, but
    nevertheless, when your blog about Latvia ends, it will be a sad day (no kidding).
    Sorry for English.

    • Expat Eye says:

      Your English is fine! Guess I was in a weird place that weekend – I didn’t mean to cause the offense I clearly did.
      But you’re right, I do think Latvia will be a duller place when I go – who will everyone hate then!? 😉

      • janis says:

        Well I really like your blog posts (all, which are not about Latvian mothers :D) and I don`t hate you. I am sorry about all the hate mail you receive and I admire your courage and honesty to write publicly about things, which are not just positive.

      • Expat Eye says:

        Aw, thank you! Most of the hate mail was after Kas Jauns – and Delfi stealing a post 😉 I just think it would be pointless to post pictures of flowers and buildings all the time – people can see that kind of stuff in guide books or online. This is MY life as it happens to ME, and I’m entitled to write about it if I want to. Sorry, I’m not ranting at you 😉

      • janis says:

        I totally agree and if people don`t like your blog, then they can stop reading it. I am not planning to do so, because the funny, cynical way you are writing is appealing.
        Seriously today I learned that such company exists – SIA “Leopard” and thought about your blog immediately. 🙂

      • Expat Eye says:

        Ha ha! What do they do!?

    • janis says:

      They offer a full-service services ranging from interior design and project development and implementation, as well as ensuring effective management. 🙂

  2. nancytex2013 says:

    What the fuck are pigammas? 🙂

  3. Karīna says:

    I totally agree about DNB Bank on Elizabetes street, it’s my favourite.

    • Expat Eye says:

      Yep, they’re great there! Especially the blonde girl who works behind the front desk – wish I knew her name so I could email someone and say how brilliant she is! 🙂

  4. Pecora Nera says:

    I like the spangly trousers with high heals. It is nicer than the normal leopard skin pants. 🙂

  5. Kristīne says:

    Wow, I am a constant reader of your blog, but lately I was just getting ready to tell you, Tāds tādu atrod!, if you know what I mean, so this post was right on time 🙂 Thanks for pointing out these positive things, because as a local I might not even have imagined that our public transport or shops were remarkable in any way 🙂
    P.S. In case you don’t know what I mean – tāds tādu atrod is a saying that could be translated as perfect match – grumpy Latvians and grumpy Linda :p

  6. 1WriteWay says:

    Well, now, you can say nice things about Latvia, although you were still fairly quick to put in the caveats 😉 No place is perfect in general or does any one thing perfectly so I’m glad you didn’t turn into Pollyanna in this post (if you had, I would have channeled your mom to check in on you). I hope Dalia develops a sense of humor someday, or just stops reading your blog. Life is too short to spend it in so much anger. I know you get angry, but humor is a great diffuser. Without it, we would all die from chronic dyspepsia.

  7. Eilish says:

    Hey, kudos for the + post… I was feeling anguish thinking that your time in Latvia has been so uncomfortable to deal with. Wifi access, good public transport, friendly banking service, shopping late and on Sundays is great… So how is the recycling there? You are going to have a blast when in Germany, they are very particular about it.
    I like some small chocolate dots in my vanilla ice-cream, once in a blue moon is ok. This post was my chocolate dot, thanks.

    • Expat Eye says:

      Ha, recycling is almost non-existent here so that’s going to be a learning experience! I’ve heard of a Latvian girl whose neighbours reported her for not putting things in the right bins! That will be me!

  8. Mārtiņs says:

    I really do appreciate the old forms you use – “shite, giveth..taketh away” 🙂

  9. You’ve sold me! Latvia is obviously the place to be – who wouldn’t want WiFi everywhere, and shops that are open during a normal person’s waking hours! I’m booking my ticket now…
    I like your Penney’s Pigammas – they wouldn’t look half as good without the stilettos though. 😉

  10. Leprechaun points for making an effort!
    Since I am a Latvian, it would be different things for me. Come on! Who likes any kind of public transport, anywhere? That’s weird!

    • Expat Eye says:

      Ha! OK, sometimes it smells a bit funny but in comparison to my local service in Ireland, it’s SO much better! There was once a guy on the bus here who smelled so bad that I swear I could still smell him in my hair and clothes three days later – happier? 😉

    • CrazyCatLady says:

      TfL buses and National Express rock. Former can be almost touristy in Central London, not to mention – convenient; scenic on the outskirts.
      National Express is a dream! London to West Wales AND back – £21 (all in) with loo, rest break, TV, and comfy seats – awesome! No worries about M4 cameras, heavy traffic, tiredness, etc. I’m mentioning this route ‘cos that’s the last coach trip I had. Sigh. Want to go back there now!!!

      • Expat Eye says:

        I’ve taken the National Express a few times – no complaints except that I have that Divine Comedy song in my head the whole time!! Sometimes here, they lock the toilet which I don’t understand!

  11. June says:

    Muscles, honey – you forgot muscles. Buffed, shiney and constantly on display, whether or not it’s weather appropriate. How a nation (or two nations really, cos it’s the same here) can keep itself in such saliva-inducing condition is beyond me. Going home to the milky-white strawmen is just so disappointing after that!
    And you don’t think they do good meat?! Really? The pork products are amazing here. The cold smoked belly or loin is just to die for! A slice of that with a local beer on the side and I’m in heaven!

    • Expat Eye says:

      Maybe I should go there – or buy my meat somewhere else! I find it’s so fatty here! But a local cold beer on the side of anything, and I’m happy again 😉

      • June says:

        Yeh, some of them can be quite fatty. My trouble is, I love the fat! Sometimes that’s the only part I eat, especially on a smoked cut. I fry my eggs in rendered fat, too. It may all catch up with me someday, but in the meantime I’m a happy bunny!

      • Expat Eye says:

        My plate looks like a pathologist’s table by the time I’m done cutting off all the fatty bits! I should post them to you 😉

  12. Liene K says:

    I’m with a few previous commentators – culture and Valmiermuižas! Thank you for the positive post!

  13. Diana says:

    Linda! That pic is hilarious! Gosh! You have me laughing to myself in front of a bunch of scared Italians. I am in a cafe’ and here…NO ONE goes to the cafe’ with a computer and certainly laughing TO your computer is a big no-no! Anyway…I enjoyed your post.

  14. Emmi says:

    I admire how the Latvians still have preserved their authentic culture, how they still ceoebrate all of their holidays with traditional folk outfits, songs and dances. in my country it would be considered totally uncool for the youngsters to dress in traditional cothes and sing our songs at every single event. it does happen but not so often. our tradional austiran songs are more of a folklore thing, pretty small, we do not take it as serious as the latvians.

    and yeah my friend who lives there tells me they have awesome canned and smoked fish, not to mention the sweets and deserts

  15. Oh! I never would have thought of the stilettos but that totally works. Can we see a picture of you sporting that ensemble on the streets?

  16. Kris says:

    Hi! Im a Latvian living in Ireland. I’m going to Latvia in July, I can’t wait to hug trees ( not literally ),eat berries in forests,hear insects buzzing at dusk and dawn,see storks nests,go for a swim in a local lake, just inhale fresh air,laugh at grumpy people,etc. By the way I love Penneys ! And I think there is another good thing in Latvia.Latvians are usually on time. Irish people are usually late for everything.They are just desperate.My inlaws ( Irish ) were late for our wedding.I had to wait for them in the pub beside the church. Well I was happy to have a drink in the meantime anyway,but if I was a bridezilla ??

    • Expat Eye says:

      Oh my god! I find the total opposite! I’m always on time – that might be just me, not an Irish trait – but Latvians are ALWAYS late! Anywhere from 5 minutes to TWO HOURS (on one occasion) They constantly change or cancel meetings at the last minute – drives me nuts! One student yesterday was 45 minutes late for a 60 minute lesson! Normally, I’d walk after 15 but she left me in a room with Chablis and cake so it wasn’t so bad 😉 The funniest thing is Latvians pride themselves on their ‘Northern European’ approach to time and their punctuality – they laugh at Spanish/Italian, etc. people – but there it’s part of the culture – here it’s just an annoyance! Sorry for ranting – you’ve touched a sore spot 😉

  17. Antuanete says:

    Nice post 🙂 I would do what most Latvians do often, and remark that Wi-Fi access in Estonia is much better (it really is; you can get internet in most remote log cabin in Estonian countryside, if you wish), but at least we beat Lithuania in this aspect. And yes, cheap mobile plans and affordable culture events as well. I agree about online banking and similar services too – as we build our systems quite lately, we could do it with most contemporary technologies, while Western countries already had now outdated technologies which they don’t want to change due to expenses.

  18. Finally. 🙂

    I’d love to add folk culture – as there is no other place to see something like The Latvian Song and Dance Festival (can’t compare to “live” version, but anyway: http://youtu.be/WeovGfNEEsk?t=18s ). We had a German friend over in Latvia at that time and took him to the final concert in Mezaparks – he was shocked and amazed, he’d never seen smthg like that before.
    The other thing, which I see has been mentioned before – beer. And I’d like to add snacks for beer as well. Garlick bread, “drabiņu” cookies, pigskins, dried fish etc. It’s unique. Not all of people enjoy Latvian cuisine (I remember the dill comment), but it deserves attention.
    And last but not least – country tourism. It’s just great when you can get a bed and breakfast or so called “guest house” for the weekend by a lake or river – just relax, go to sauna and eat shashliks. And there are plenty and plenty of such beautiful and nice places around Latvia, which offer not only basic things but have even mini zoos – ostrich farms, deers, farm animals, etc. It’s great place to spend time with family or friends.

    • Expat Eye says:

      I was hoping you’d see this one! Thanks for the additional info! Do you work for the Latvian Tourist Board by any chance? 😉

      • 😀 Haha, no not at all. But in a sphere that requires to know all the good stuff you can do around Latvia and how to enjoy yourself and fill with positive emotions – activity/emotion gift cards. Therefore positiveness is my fuel and I definitely tend to see the good stuff.
        If you need any help or advice – what to do around, just tell me and I can show you. 🙂

      • Expat Eye says:

        Cool, thank you! I might still try the sauna experience 😉

      • You SHOULD, not “might”, because you might not get a second chance if you move to Germany. 🙂

      • Expat Eye says:

        Ha ha! OK Miss! I’ll definitely go to Valmiera – I hear they have a train station with no trains 😉
        On a serious note, could you recommend a (semi) authentic sauna? I don’t want to have to jump in water at the end though – I don’t like water 😉 So I guess it will never be 100% authentic but I’d like to get close!

      • Baiba says:

        Gosh, Linda, water has to be there! And not jump in water, but slowly submerge! That’s the point and THE moment! And if you want to do this and have time only until september, then I would recommend to make a reservation, because they are usually quite busy, these sauna people

      • Expat Eye says:

        Can’t I just take a cold shower or something!? I don’t like being submerged! I freak out 😉

      • Baiba says:

        You can, but the effect would be different. But your head would allways be above water, so don’t worry:) I just highly recommend, because i can’t imagine, how you could get the same feeling with a shower. As I said, I only had this once, but I still can not forget it. It’s like during sex, pressure builds up and at the end it’s released. The same here – the beating with brooms energizes your skin and body, and at the moment, when you step in the water, it all gets released. It’s very intense. I really don’t know, if that’s possible in a shower

      • Expat Eye says:

        Ha, you make it sound like an orgasm! As long as I’m not submerged, it should be OK – just don’t like the feeling of water over my ears and up my nose! I know, I’m a weirdo 😉

      • Baiba says:

        Actually it feels pretty much like an orgasm, only more intense… and about recommendations – I’ve heard, that particularly women like Valda Vitola, she is doing it very slow, with herbal teas, folk songs etc. Here I found a video, where you can see her http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6M1SLwGXdPY

      • Expat Eye says:

        I have to say I’d be breaking my heart laughing too! But having my boobs massaged with leaves would be a first! That Valda chick looks super-happy though so maybe there’s something in it!
        (And that guy’s name is Janis Russian?!)

      • Baiba says:

        Well, yes, that’s really the guys name 🙂

      • Expat Eye says:

        Bit of an oxymoron 😉

      • Well, the best would be to find a company of not-grumpy latvians and have a great weekend at any spot: pirtis.lv . But there are also professional saunas with all the right procedures and cosmetics. For example: http://www.saulespirts.lv/, http://www.ezermali.lv/, or this is the most traditional one: http://www.lielzemenes.lv/#!rituals/c1xkc

      • Expat Eye says:

        The first image that came up in the last link scared me a bit 😉 Buried in flowers and leaves! I’ll look into it in a bit more detail when I get my invoicing for the month done and my flat cleaned! Could take a while 😉

    • Mārtiņs says:

      About a sauna recommendation – this must be authentic. The owner is a doctor Juris Batņa, the head of sauna specialists asociation. http://www.lielzemenes.lv/#!contact/c1izt
      Aromtherapy, stress management, detoxification, spa’s, massages etc.
      He’s more prominent as psychodynamic psychotherapist but about a decade ago started lecturing in this topic etc. Unfortunately the home page is in Latvian. If you get interested in reading it, will have to ask an assistance of Latvian.

      • Expat Eye says:

        Thank you! I have no idea what a psychodynamic psychotherapist is but it sounds interesting!

      • Mārtiņs says:

        In our country psychodynamic psychotherapists have a degree in psychosomatic medicine. They’re doctors. And psychodynamic means psychoanalytical, Freud, classics. “..approaches on the central role that early family relationships play in the formation of personality and the manifestation of psychological disorders.”

  19. barbedwords says:

    Not sure how I feel about reading a positive post; it feels like something’s slightly off kilter with the world. Hope normal service will be resumed soon?? 😉

  20. Ha! I’m so overwhelmed with positiveness of this post, that I’m now literary speechless. It’s a wonderful wonderful Latvia indeed 🙂
    And talking of shops working 7 days per week, most holidays including, etc. I think we here in the Baltics got somewhat spoiled in this regard. My friend just recently went to Berlin for a weekend, and she totally forgot that most shops are closed on Sunday. So you should have heard her bitching how unfair it was that she could not buy some souvenirs 🙂

  21. I’d say you forgot beer (I saw in comments that you more or less agreed). Yes, it’s not like it’s all the way the best. We have a shitty ones as well. But in general, on a global scale- it’s one of the best. And if you take price/taste relation then it could be somewhere in top 10. Of course we can’t beat some small Belgian or German breweries with centuries of beer making traditions but we beat them with the price. And in case of large internationals (Heineken, Carlsberg, Efes, Tuborg, Bud Light, Stella Artois) we beat them both- with the price and with the taste.

    • Expat Eye says:

      Yeah, most of those are pretty ‘bleh’ – although Anna won’t be happy with me for including her beloved Bud Light in that – or you, for that matter 😉
      Valmiermuiza is probably my pick I think. You?

      • Count me in club “Valmiermuizas”. Also love their new drink “Frišs” with taste of elderberries. And after you visit their brewery and restaurant, you just don’t want to leave that place. So if you can – visit Valmiera this summer: http://www.valmiermuiza.lv/en/visiting/guided-tours

      • Space is the place says:

        Try https://www.facebook.com/AlusDarbnicaLabietis (found only at their bar/brewery)
        and https://www.facebook.com/Malduguns (can be spotted in a few places, including Chomsky)
        Both have some excellent shit (mostly ales), Labietis also does some rather weird beers

      • Expat Eye says:

        I do like excellent shit 😉 I was in Chomsky the other day – had that Dzervenu (hope that’s spelled right!) stuff – really nice on a summer day!

      • What to take from Latvian beers:
        Valmiermuižas- almost any sort (except most of their experimental beers)
        Užavas- both (light is better than dark one)
        Bauskas- almost any sort (except Meistara)
        Piebalgas- all
        Tērvetes- all
        Brālis- all
        Bryuvers- all
        Craftbeer and “draught beer only” breweries- Labietis, Abulas, Brenguļu, Malduguns- all fine
        Aldaris- Mežpils and Porteris (12 months matured not the regular one) only, the rest is like a usual European mass production- good for those who don’t know a shit about beer
        Same applies to Cēsu, Līvu and Lāčplēša. Well… maybe Cēsu unfiltered ones are more or less OK.
        Sorry if I forgot something.

      • Expat Eye says:

        Very comprehensive, thank you!!

  22. Europeen says:

    Yay, for the post!

  23. Ha ha paying with a card, what’s that? It’s not everywhere, shops are mostly pretty good it’s just restaurants and cafés that have yet to catch up 🙂 love your posts!

  24. Sharn says:

    LOL

    Wait, you’ve been making less than positive posts? I dunno, I’ve been giggling.

    However that might just be my warped Australian sense of humour.

    Ps. those pj’s and the stilettos. A total hit dahlink. The men will be falling over themselves. Walkways of Europe watch out 😀

  25. I had no idea that you’ve been there FOUR YEARS?? WOW!

  26. Where is Dalia from?! A sense of humour perhaps wouldn’t go astray there, wherever it is…

  27. The wifi and public transport makes it well worth the trip.
    Nice pigammas. 🙂

    • Expat Eye says:

      Thanks 🙂 I love them! My mam bought me two identical pairs for Christmas and they’re probably the reason I survived the winter!

  28. CrazyCatLady says:

    Cakes! They have amazing cakes. Not a single slab of marzipan glazed Victoria sponge in sight.
    The variety, the presentation- amazing!

    • Expat Eye says:

      Oh, that’s true! I love the cakes! I’m off them at the moment though – trying to get my summer bod on so I don’t have to wear my pjs on the beach 😉 9 degrees here at the mo though so summer seems very far away!

  29. Aggie says:

    …after so many years only last month we got perfect internet connection in Connaught, in my house…

  30. Mehere says:

    Wifi ? I would say its great around Riga but in other Latvian cities its a miracle to find free wifi.
    But if we talk about private home internet , here in LV is million times better, faster and cheaper than in USA.
    Mobile telephone services are super cheap, if we compare to non european countries.
    Customer service in banks is usually good , yeah , but as how you said , scandinavian bosses 🙂
    Customer service in most of local places sucks… unpolite, lazy, arrogant, etc. Or the classic bitch who would tell you ” I hate tourists ” but she works somewhere in the Old Town where business survives from tourists. The McDonalds girl who doesn’t speak english. The clerk who can’t answer a hello neither a thank you.
    Beer is good in Latvia, for such a small country, there is plenty of great quality options.

    • Expat Eye says:

      Yeah, for a small country, the beer isn’t bad. The customer service in general, I am not a fan of, but in the banks, (and my beloved Statoil) they’ve nailed it. Scandinavian training as you say! Mobile and internet is so much cheaper than in Ireland – I don’t think I’ve paid more than around €25 for my phone bill yet!

      • May says:

        Don’t know about the HR policy of Statoil, but local Scandinavian bank branches have local management, local HR departments and create their own organisational culture. So, give credit where credit is due.

      • Expat Eye says:

        I thought I did?
        “the service ‘on the ground’ here in Latvia is generally outstanding.” Is outstanding not strong enough for you?

      • May says:

        You did. But, then again, it was immediately followed by “Scandinavian bosses” and an indirect suggestion that the good service is only their doing, their teaching. It’s nice to read that you’ve noticed the nice things here too (thank you!), but it’s not that nice anymore when you or someone in the comments implies that those good things have happened only thanks to somebody from the outside. And that’s why my comment was about giving credit where it is due and not giving it away to some foreign bosses.

      • Expat Eye says:

        OK, point taken 😉 I don’t really know how the banks here are run – I just based the post on the service I receive. And as they are Scandinavian banks, I didn’t know if there was some sort of ‘global template’ foreign subsidiaries have to follow, or if they’re locally managed.
        Anyway, credit to the Latvians at the banks here!

  31. I thought Latvia was also supposed to be good at meat…

  32. Greta Krumina says:

    I am Latvian and have been living in Ireland with my mum and Lithuanian stepdad for almost 8 years and I like living here in Ireland, but I also miss Latvia a lot and although we visit as often as we can it’s not enough. I don’t know how I found your blog, but I am sure as hell glad I did! I was shocked that an Irish person would willingly live there, yet here you are. Your posts are so funny and I agree with all of it!!! Living in Latvia I didn’t notice the small things but then after years of living here I saw it from both sides and found it amusing. Granted my 16 years on this earth probably mean nothing in the grand scheme of things but one does not need to be older to notice the excessive leopard print and shitty roads, you just need eyes. I love your blog and I could ramble on for days about how funny it is and really relatable! Keep doing what you’re doing and never turn to the dark side, by which I mean never buy anything leopard print.
    ps. I join you in the virtual Penneys pijamma hangout!

    • Expat Eye says:

      Hi Greta! Hurrah for Penneys’ pjs! And thank you so much for your comment! I especially love this part – one does not need to be older to notice the excessive leopard print and shitty roads, you just need eyes – so true 😉 Thanks again, and keep reading! Linda.

  33. Bryan says:

    Chocolate, I told you to say chocolate!

    • Expat Eye says:

      Laima will never beat Cadbury’s or Galaxy in my book! Sorry 😉 Or Milka – better than Hershey’s though 😉

    • Forget about chocolate! It’s far from what it used to be and behind many global brands now. Well… behind neighbours’ Kalev (Estonian one) either.

      If you ever had a chance to bit something Laima did 15+ years ago- it’s fine but not today.

      On the other hand- besides Laima there is Pure Chocolate wich REALLY IS GREAT! But there is not so many who have tried it.

  34. Anna says:

    I’m so excited by all this positivity I might be literally getting hard. No, seriously, a penis is growing out at this very moment for the sole purpose of taking a stand. This is exactly the kind of stuff I am trying to do with H&A – highlight the positive when it’s so easy just to bitch about crap. Both countries need it.

    I’m so happy right now, I’ll even let the tree diss slide. But just barely.

  35. Lasma says:

    I’d pay to see you wearing that outfit. 😉

  36. As I am now in England, I agree absolutely about Wifi. That what I see here in the office or at home wouldn’t happen in Latvia. And you know – it is really surprise me that old Western country can’t deal with Wifi connections properly. But none is perfect!:):):)

    • Expat Eye says:

      True! I can’t really speak for Ireland as I’m rarely on the internet when I go out – too busy catching up with friends – but it’s probably not that different from England! I was so mad when I got 30 minutes’ free wifi at Stansted and then they wanted you to pay for an entire day’s worth of it!

  37. Daina says:

    Yayy, a positive post!!! Without thinking more than a second, one of the things Latvia does incredibly well immediately came to mind: culture. Whether one likes the ballet, opera, theater, classical or choral or folk music, there’s plenty of it to be enjoyed, and generally of very high quality.

    • Expat Eye says:

      And it’s cheap! I don’t know where you could get 4 lats tickets to the opera anywhere else 😉

      • Daina says:

        Another positive: inexpensive mobile service! I think I recall reading it’s one of the cheapest in Europe. For a visitor, getting a Zelta Zivtina for 3,99 Euros which covers unlimited talking and texting/SMS in Latvia for a month – great deal!

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