A public “apology”

I had hoped to ride out the rest of my time here on a wave of sunshine, lollipops and rainbows, but then something came up – namely, my hackles. On Monday, I received this as a private message:

Dear Linda An Irish friend of mine just pointed out to me that you mentioned me in a blog. I have now read this and i would like to point out what i actually said to you. I said i lived in Daugavpils and Lived with a Belarussian woman for 5 years and now i am Living with a Latvian woman. Never once did i use the word doing. Of course i realise why you use those words as you like to be controversial and get a reaction from people. I was hoping you would be at the last internations meeting where i would have announced this publicly. I await your public apology on your blog. Of course i will be writing to the internations body to report this matter .

Meh. Potato/pot-ah-to. Much as I dislike threats and demands, in the spirit of sunshine, etc., etc., I decided to let it slide and ignored the message. The post in question was written way back in March. Old news. Then, yesterday, this comment was posted on my blog: 

A Public message to Linda O Grady.
A friend recently pointed out to me that you slandered my name on your blog on March the 30th.
I am the Irishman you referred to in your blog regarding the Internations meeting. Firstly i want to publicly state that you are a LIAR. The conversation was exactly this. I was living in Daugavpils for 5 years with a Belarussian woman and now i am living with a Latvian woman. At no time did i ever mention that i was doing a Russian woman and i am now doing a Latvian as you stated in your blog. Of course i realise why you make controversial statements it is to get a reaction from people. I demand an immediate retraction of this slanderous accusation on my name and a public apology. As a proud Irishman i am ashamed of the fact that you are one of our own.

And yes, believe it or not, he signed it. Fine. If you want an apology that badly, you can have it. Although I probably should advise you to be careful what you wish for in future. 

Me. In apologetic mode.

Me. In apologetic mode.

First of all, I’m sorry that the Irish education system seems to have failed you so completely. While I’m not in the market for any new students, here’s a freebie – in English, the personal pronoun ‘I’ is always capitalised. I could list your other offences against the English language, but I’m kind of busy, and a 5-year-old Latvian could probably do it just as easily. (You can look up ‘slander’ in a dictionary.)

I’m also sorry that when your “friends” read a blog post about a lecherous old expat in Riga, they automatically assume it’s you. I certainly never named anyone. Even more bemusing is that you agree with them. But the most bewildering thing of all is that you then seek public recognition of the fact. Still, it seems like you’re in good company – if my granddad had behaved the way some of the men here do, I’d have had him neutered.

I’m sorry that you don’t understand blogging, or writing in general for that matter. Blogging, like many other forms of writing, is subject to a little creative licence. Or did you really believe that every Latvian man I’ve ever met is called Jānis? You did, didn’t you? Bless your (probably mismatched) cotton socks…

I’m sorry that you couldn’t figure out how to post your comment on the correct post. Instead, you posted it on a totally unrelated post written almost a month later – probably confusing the hell out of anyone reading it. Luckily for you, I noticed and published it here. You can thank me later. 

I’m sorry that I fail to see any of the pride you mentioned in your comment. All I see is a desperate, rather pathetic, bid for attention, and a failed attempt at intimidation. I’m assuming you were egged on by the worm friend in your ear. If they ever do a Latvian remake of “Mean Girls”, you should put yourselves forward. 

And finally, I’m sorry that in the final weeks of this blog, I’ve had to deal with (and subject my readers to) this nonsense. As anyone who actually READS the blog will know, I’ve put up with my fair share of trolls, bullies, bitches and backstabbers while in this country, and I had hoped I’d seen the last of it. 

Well, I think that’s about all I’m sorry for. I hope that the heartfelt nature of my sorrow shines through. I suggest that you go back to… well, I guess you probably call it a life, and let me spend my last few weeks in Latvia in peace. 

Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows, everything that’s wonderful is what I feel…






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, TEFL, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

197 Responses to A public “apology”

  1. Martin Mannion says:

    Re your Vitriolic reply
    I am amazed that you as an English teacher would mock and make fun of someone less educated than yourself. You were very lucky to have had the privilege of a good education.
    Speaking for myself i left school at 12 years old to work and earn money for my Parents who were not well off. At the age of 14 i left Ireland like thousands of Irish men and women to make a better life for myself. No Celtic tiger then. Most of us thankfully did ok. Although i spent very few years at school i learned good manners which with your extensive education seems to have escaped you.
    Perhaps you should take a leaf out of my daughters book, she is a university lecturer and writes papers on how to help and improve the quality of life for people with disabilities, the homeless and suicide awareness which is preferable to your criticism of the elderly and less well educated.
    I am sure your father will have read your comments and i wonder if he is proud of you? I do hope your father in his elderly years is not subjected by any young person to vile diatribe about him as you have subjected me.
    I can only surmise that must have had some serious issues as a child to be so bitter against the elderly and less well educated than yourself.
    Remember you will be old yourself one day

  2. Anna says:

    Remind me to never get on your bad side and sleep with one eye open while in Riga 😉
    Three weeks from tomorrow btw! Excited?

  3. bahahaha this is everything. I hope his worm/friend reads this and lets him know. poor kid. perfectly executed, *high five*

  4. rigaenglish says:

    This is definitely the expat eye version of the Streisand effect, some people don’t know when to let things drop! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect

    • Expat Eye says:

      Ha ha! That’s the funny thing – that post was basically dead. Hardly any views in the last quarter! It’s had more in the last couple of days than in the last three months!

  5. Kristine says:

    Ok, while we’re at it, I demand an apology for slagging mushroom and berry picking, as well as forrest hate! What’s this all about?! You shouldn’t even dare to speak about these sacred things, as you clearly haven’t ever done it.
    No half-arsed apologies accepted!!!

  6. We demand an apology.

  7. The Rider says:

    Beautiful apology! I did not read through all the comments, I just want to know- if this is the final few days of this blog, I really hope there is another one being born somewhere, I really love to read your views! So I followed your twitter link just now to see what is going on blogwise in the future.

  8. expatlingo says:

    This post and the responses to it (whew!) must make you pleased with your wise decision to move to Germany!

  9. Gerbil With Jetpack says:

    It was me mentioned in that post. Sorry to disappoint you. Bless our socks.

  10. Gunta says:

    5 years in Daugavpils with a Belorussian woman… Let’s just pity that man, he’s done his time 🙂

  11. Bob Lewis says:

    Here’s wishing you all the sunshine, rainbows and lollipops that this country can provide, before you leave us!
    You deserve so much thanks for using your undoubted command of the English language to put into words so many of the thoughts and feelings which my weak intellect couldn’t express – but which needed to be said!
    It has been a wonderful experience for me to see so much of what I feel about Latvia in general, and some of its people and services in particular, set out so succinctly.
    Keep up the good work wherever you go, and for as long as you are able!
    And to echo the words of the Irish comedian (whose name I’ve forgotten!), when he ended his shows, ‘May your God go with you!’

  12. Jude says:

    Hah, the comments you pull in are *almost* as good as the prose you put out. And I want to meet Toronto Nancy!

  13. heatherinde says:

    Best. Apology. Ever. No quotation marks necessary. And I second Bev’s comment… can’t wait to see what happens when you unleash yourself on ze Deutsch. Hopefully you won’t need to keep those guns so close by. 😉

  14. You’ve never really done “contrite” have you?

  15. NancyTex says:

    Oh I want to play too!!

    Dear Linda,
    I’m Nancy, and I love leopard print. I know I’m not alone. This is a proud and noble pattern, beloved by many a fashionista. I am so sick and tired of your public slander (giggle) of leopard print, and those who wear it. I DEMAND a public apology.

    Leopard print-wearing Nancy

  16. linnetmoss says:

    I love it when lecherous old expats recognize themselves in blog posts where they aren’t even named…

  17. Cindi says:

    That photo: Perfect response … and then you add your words. Priceless!

  18. Diana says:

    Well…I must admit I am kind of glad this whole situation came up – – – if not, would this picture have EVER been posted??? I love your pics. This one is FAB! Ahhhh…what a great Texan you would make! So — thank you unhappy Irish guy. 🙂

  19. Ray says:

    My Irish perspective on this subject is, I remember at the time several Irish people coming up to me in Riga and telling me how offended they were and how upset they were by this particular blog. I felt bemused by their attitude, as I found this blog amusing and as satirical as the rest of them. I asked them then, why would this bother you as it has no effect on me. I was told in no uncertain therms that it was deeply offensive to tar the Irish community in this fashion. Bla, Bla , Bla. I said speak to Linda about it then, from my point of view, it does not offend me in anyway. But they gossiped behind your back rather than having the gumption to face you. I have supported your blog from day one as you know and am very proud to call you a friend and I look forward every week to getting cheered up and a laugh to carry me through the hard days.As for this guy whoever he is, SAD, SAD, SAD, grow up and get a life. Jesus, why would you make such a huge drama out of nothing. If he has a problem, like the rest of them, why can he not just talk to you. FACE TO FACE people…

    • Ray says:

      p.s. This is a blog, a funny satirical view through Linda’s eyes of living in Latvia, it is not a gossip column. So why would you feel wary about being around Linda as her objective was never to gossip and if Linda had something to say, she would say it to your face. This is a sad reflection on certain people and if they have nothing to hide, why would this offend them in anyway.

      • Expat Eye says:

        Exactly! Maybe people are feeling offended because they don’t actually like looking at themselves. Far nicer to look at pretty ladies… 😉 And if anything, I should be the wary one – most things I say are taken and dissected behind my back by the sounds of it. Sad really. Just sad.

    • Expat Eye says:

      Thanks Ray! It’s like living in a nest of vipers here, as you know 😉 Luckily, I mostly avoid these people these days – all of whom have told me they love the blog to my face 😉

  20. bevchen says:

    Loool, drama seems to follow you around. I can’t wait to see what you get up to with the Germans 😉

  21. lizard100 says:

    Wishing for comment ‘likes’ what a fantastic thread! He chose to give you a derogatory reply about himself at the party. First impressions and all that…..
    So glad it lead to such great entertainment here.

  22. Oh! And I want to knew more about that pic! Do you really shoot guns? A friend of mine took a picture of me holding an Uzi. But I’ve never shot a gun before

  23. I bow to your wit madame. Nicely played. Now get the hell out of Dodge. You don’t leave til September?

  24. 1WriteWay says:

    As some have already said, you got an entertaining blog post out of this. Perhaps that was his intent … It’s a way for him to stay in the “limelight.” Much like our Anerican politicians (Sarah Palin, for example) who will gratefully slander themselves if it means seeing their name in print yet again. Cheers 🙂

  25. James OBrien says:

    Hi Linda. Seamus here.. I read the blog back in March and knew exactly who you were writing about. As I was there on the night in question, I too, took offence to what was written. I’m sure that you probably never intended to upset anyone, but I have to say I found myself getting angry as i read it. There were other Irish there that night too, and I know they were unhappy about the tone of the piece. The people who work hard to organise the Internation events too, would have been unhappy about the slight on their efforts, the article portraited. There are many expats living in Latvia for perfectly good reasons, and who treat the country and it’s people with respect. It is a wonderful place to live, and I have many good friends there.

    Of course it is assumed, jokingly for the most part, that the expat men are there for the young women. I have many young friends and acquaintances who I respect and they, me. So it should be of no surprise that I too was disappointed to be tarred with the general accusation you expressed. I suppose you just wanted to senstionalise your blog for the sake of increased readership. However, in my view, this is not the role of a true writer.

    I realise that you started the blog with a large slice of self-deprivation, so I can safely assume that there was no malice intent on your part.

    From reading your blogs when you first started publishing them, I took the decision to be guarded about my conversations with you, knowing full well, that the blank screen needed to be filled. I do realise that you are actually was kind, caring and cultured person. but this blog has made me wary around you.

    That said, I think the person who wrote to you ( and I am not a close friend of his nor am I the person who alerted him to the blog) deserves a simple, genuine apology for the hurt caused, whether it was unintended or not. This production you have made of his request has brought some tasteless comments and opinions, and I sincerely believe that is unbecoming of both you and all the people in our little community.

  26. Nerdator says:

    The most notable bit is that no names are named, no very specific descriptions provided, and there is even a group of Irish people mentioned to hide everything. But some people really do want to incriminate themselves.

    It’s like that joke – if you randomly shout an obscenity in a crowded street, there will always be someone who looks back, glares at you, taking it personally. It’s probably really a good way to find out, who is the anodal spark plug and who is the nipple grease crank.

    • Nerdator says:

      (No names etc. in the ‘inflammatory’ post, I mean.)

    • Expat Eye says:

      Couldn’t have said it better myself! Doubt he’ll see it that way though – if he can manage to find this post, that is 😉

      • Nerdator says:

        His remark about how it was a Belorussian, not a Russian lady makes it even worse.

        ‘So, Mr ugh… Ripper, you are accused of shooting four people to death at this trial. So far, you have plead not guilty. Any comments?’

        ‘What? Nonsense! No guns! I stabbed those four good and proper, who do you think I am, a cold-blooded killer?!’

        In other words, the case for the prosecution is growing. 🙂

      • Expat Eye says:

        You’ll get no objections from me 😉

      • Nerdator says:

        I also demand that Mr Ripper is played by Gen. Melchett from Black Adder! BAAAH! 🙂 (I sincerely hope that Stephen Fry is still good at playing oblivious buffoons.)

      • Expat Eye says:

        I think that Stephen Fry is good at everything 🙂

      • Nerdator says:

        By the way, achieving a high level in German is a way to be better than him (if, of course, any self-respecting adult should for whatever reason make up and join a completely pointless personal competition with a celebrity who wouldn’t ever give a tiger turd about it. I mean, unless the Internet connection is down 🙂 ) – AFAIK, his German is pretty passive: he’s just a reader, not a speaker.

  27. Heather says:

    Haha, remind me never to piss you off! Now I’m definitely signing up for Internations so I can witness all the drama!

    • Expat Eye says:

      You probably won’t see me there – if this tool has actually written to them, I’m probably struck off the list 😉
      Although watching him do the ‘clink, clink, I’ve got an announcement…’ could be quite entertaining in a train wreck sort of way 😉

  28. lizard100 says:

    I’ve now also revisited that post. Brilliant more brilliant that he didn’t get the point! In terms of how you expressed the conversation it was just so feeble that he didn’t discuss anything else he was ‘doing’ in the country. Haa ha haar ha ha!

  29. Emmi says:

    ridicoulous. absolutely ridicoulous. he has the teenage drama complexes of a girl in 6th grade. first of all you never named any names. for fucks sake thats one of the stories you hear at the pub and forget the next day! is this man an irishman? my experience of hanging out with irish people was completely different, I never thought some of them can be so attention seeking and pathetic. perhaps he spent too much time in Latvia. why would anyone even care whether or not he was ever doing a latvian or a russian? and how are we supposed to know its him??? wouldnt it be wiser to just be quiet about it and laugh it off? jeez thats a weird dude.

    I mean if I were that guy I would just leave an anonymous comment under your post saying smth like, sorry honey but I didnt exactly say “doing” I said “living with” .. and only if you had actually mentioned my name! maaaan I had thought of starting a blog on life in UK but now I have concerns… if people nowadays cant get a joke!

    • Expat Eye says:

      Yeah, you have to be kind of careful! I’ve learned that the hard way – though it was too late by the time I did! I would say, usually, Irish people can take the piss out of themselves, but there’s an exception to every rule. 😉 There’s an ‘old wives club’ in Riga and they’re bitchier than any women you’ll ever meet 😉

      • Emmi says:

        are they expat wives from western europe or actual latvian women?

      • Emmi says:

        haha why is it called old wives? how did you get there? what do they bitch about? I mean once you are on a safe distance in germany maybe you could do a separate post on them?

      • Expat Eye says:

        Ha, I’m just calling it ‘old wives’ cos that’s what they’re like – worse actually 😉 They bitch about everyone and everything that crosses their paths – but never to your face 😉 And then they bitch about each other to you 😉

      • rower says:

        hmm, just noticed, do you know the latvian word for bachelorette ? like the one over 25-30, who for long time can not get a husband? vecmeita. vec-meita. the old daugther/girl. actually, i wander, if there are wifes at all…

      • Expat Eye says:

        Bachelorette is kind of a recent word for it – in an attempt to make it seem as cool as being a bachelor I guess. Spinster and ‘on the shelf’ were always more common!
        Spinster pad isn’t as cool as bachelor pad though 😉

  30. TRex says:

    Doesn’t sound like any of the men I know. Thank goodness.

    • Expat Eye says:

      I think only around 3 people knew him before this. Probably around 3 people will afterwards. Not really sure what the point was 😉

  31. Oooooh, this is fun 🙂

    Can I play???

    “I am the Head (or should that be Crown?) Of Treelovers Anonymous, and I demand a public apology about your hating on trees in eight previous posts.”


  32. Awww, the poor, poor fella. While I don’t think you needed to humor his petulance with any sort of attention, it does make for an amusing and entertaining blog post! Cheers to that.

  33. Richard says:

    Going to miss you even though we never got the chance to meet up before my 90, non-ED citizen, days ran out, and you’ll probably be in Germany before I am allowed back in. You one tough Irish lady and makes me proud of my Irish ancestry. I pity the poor German dude who takes umbrage at a “supposed” unflattering, but most likely truthful, mention in your “expat eye on Germany” blog, which I will also follow.

    • Expat Eye says:

      Aw, thank you Richard! 🙂
      I guess it all depends on how you say something – threatening public defamation and calling me names isn’t likely to endear a person to me 😉 He didn’t even put the bloody apostrophe in my name. Seriously…
      If you’re ever in Germany, drop me a line!

  34. freebutfun says:

    You are so overwhelmingly nice, he only asked for one apology, you gave him 5!

  35. Ha! So you’ve recenty told you haven’t been stalked at all. Seems what they say is true – never say neverm cause that’s a sure madman stalking you there. Shame it’s illegal to shoot some salt up his ass – Irishman or not, but seems he could do with some salt in his system to make brain work or something.

  36. SilvyRiga says:

    Did this lad even deserve a post?
    I would have written only “LAME” under his “Public Apology Request”.


  37. rower says:

    oh, Jeezuz the Christ, save this poorminded man from whatever is waiting for him, and let this cup pass him entirely, for he does not mean harm nor knows he’s doing one. Oh, Ctulhu, the Great sleeping in the deep, let this lost soul sleep in comfort right by your side, for he knows not, what he does, and those who sleep do not sin. Oh, Flying Spaghetti Monster, for your meatballs are forever in grease, rise your noodly appendige and split the darkness around that man, for he sees light of humour and irony around him, and through this he becomes merry and jolly and bringeth the fun for those around him. Oh, cuddly Invisible Pink Unicorn, your tail in the etherical winds of ethernity, bless this man with true sight and your warmth and love, so he can spread this around him in great volume. amen, arrr and ahoi!.

    and now miss, you just have to post something heartful and enlighted to compensate for negative energies brought to your blog by that … err… sorry, can’t find the correct word to decribe the poor fella.

  38. Mehere says:

    No need to apologise. He is wrong, you are right 😉

  39. June says:

    Yep, definitely pouring myself a glass of wine to watch this one unfold! You live on the edge, you do!

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