Expat has left the building

So Latvia, it seems like our time together has come to an end. Now, now, hold it together. It’s true that we’ve had our ups and downs, but I like to think that, overall, it’s been more positive than negative. By the way, I have no idea how a last blog post is supposed to go. Should it be a summary of the last four years of my life? An emotional outpouring?

2014-09-09 12.07.09

My ‘kitchen’ is going with me…

With regard to the former, it’s been… I’m not sure I can cram the last four years of my life into a pithy paragraph. It’s been pretty much every adjective you can think of, and then some.

I’ve met some great people (and some complete wankers), had good times and bad, been poor (and slightly less poor), worked hard, played hard, tried to see as much of the country as I could (or the 50% of it that isn’t covered in forest, anyway), and tried to gain some sort of understanding of, and insight into, the Latvian people. Some think I failed utterly in this; others think I nailed it – but hey, I’m on the bus now so you can’t argue with me. (Though feel free to duke it out in the comments section.)

And the emotional outpouring? Sorry, but that’s not going to happen. Not because I don’t have any emotions – quite the opposite. Right now, I’ve got so many conflicting emotions that I’m doing my best not to let any of them surface at all. Consider me in ‘numb auto-pilot’ mode.

In what may be some sort of attempt at self-preservation (or me finally going round the twist), my brain has stopped focusing on the enormity of things and is firmly fixating on the small, banal things. In fact, for the last couple of days, I’ve had a running narration of what I’m up to going on in my head. Things like:

Linda closed the door decisively and strode across her courtyard for the last time. 

Linda defiantly tossed back her long glossy mane pint and bade farewell to Riga, the Paris of the North. 

That sort of thing. That’s normal, right?

Anyway, normal or not, it’s me. Let’s hope the Germans can handle it as well as the Latvians did (cough). You can find out at Expat Eye on Germany – there’s nothing really there yet but, trust me, there will be…

So, before this becomes even more long-winded and rambling, Latvia, I leave you with this final, profound thought:

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My photographer couldn’t figure out my ‘ancient’ phone – and also, thank you Lasma! Carpe that fucking diem 😉

I raise my glass to you and wish you all the best in the future.

Atā un visu labu.

Linda O’Greidija. (Snigger.)




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, Latvia, Latvian people, Travel and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

164 Responses to Expat has left the building

  1. missmachine says:

    It’s a sad world we live in. People travel abroad not to expand their horizons and, possibly, gain acceptance of other nations, but to laugh at what seems ridiculous to them, just because they’ve grown up used to a certain environment. I’ve actually taken time to read several pages of your blog and all I’ve seen is hatred and sarcasm. I was born and raised in Latvia, in a Russian-speaking family. I grew up respecting Latvians and I speak their language fluently. Nevertheless, for the greater part of my life I DID think of Latvia as ugly and pitiful, until recently. I came to love my homeland after living abroad for a while, both in the most civilised parts of Europe, and in Asia. Those countries were OK, but it was just not the same. I’ll probably surprise you by saying that people in Latvia have preserved a much greater part of their national identity than, say, the Germans or the British (it seems that every 5-th “German” now comes from Turkey) and that here I find the depth that is almost absent in superficial, consumerist Western Europe. I personally think that people in Western Europe are mostly overfed, too satisfied and extremely dull, but I still travel quite frequently, and instead of laughing at all things foreign, I enjoy my stay.
    It is extremely easy to say that a whole bunch of people are stupid. What is truly difficult is seeing those people for what they really are, i.e. human beings different from yourself and equally entitled to a life.
    Actually, if YOU transformed all your negativity into electricity or fuel, you could probably power your own car or even an airplane.

  2. 1WriteWay says:

    I want that T-shirt. And, no, I’m not going to sift through all the comments to see if you told someone how to get it 😉 Just tell me. PLEASE!!!

  3. Oh, no! I missed your grand departure!! Looking forward to seeing what Germany has to offer you!

  4. Mr Kev says:

    I know just what you mean. I lost a couple hours of sleep last night going over a virtual tick sheet of things I need to do before my move. It went like… “get Euros, take bags to airport, etc” – things I would NEVER EVER forget. Brain being really useful there.
    Good luck! 😀

  5. plianos says:

    Best of luck to you in Berlin. I just left Latvia a few weeks ago and, aside from missing friends I had, I feel like I was never there.

  6. alternate title: peace out betches!…?

  7. Nooooooo! Just when I got to know you, you went and upped sticks and left Latvia. Who’s going to show me around? Who’s going to be my partner as we drink local beer and whine about the forest and beavers? Beavers?!! Who’s going to…?
    Oh right. I forgot. You’re coming to Berlin. You’re coming to be with the likes of meeeeeeeeeeee!!!!! An expat in Berlin. I’d better pull up my leather skirt and get a move on ‘cos BerLinda is in town LOL!

  8. *sob sob* to the end of this blog but onwards to follow you in Germany 🙂
    PS LOVE the name “BerLinda” – very clever!

  9. Auf Wiedersehen, Lativa. I’m ready to read about your next adventure. You’ve got a lot of courage.
    Look out Berlin!

    • BerLinda says:

      I’ve already published 2 posts on the new blog! Berlin is amazing so far 🙂 I still haven’t decided if it’s courage or stupidity but I guess time will tell 😉

  10. Love the T-shirt.

    Totally normal narration stuff.

    Making the jump now…

  11. What will Latvia do without you? Pfft. Good luck in Germany – I’m off to sign up to your German blog now. I saw your new blogging name and thought you had a lookalike…

  12. Nerdator says:

    Now, I can’t wait to read up on all the dirt about Germany and see you taking it apart – piece by stereotypically orderly piece! 🙂

    (And if I’m with the complete wankers squad – sorry. ;))

  13. Baiba says:

    I don’t know about other Latvians, but this one will definitely miss your posts. Sigh. Or no, it’s “Seufz” now:) Oh, well, I will read your views on Germany as well and just thinking of it makes me experience a good deal of Schadenfreude (one of my favourite German words really:) Have a good time there!

  14. Latvian says:

    Oh, c’mon, start posting on that German blog already!!! We need fresh blood! xD

  15. buddhaonbike says:

    Viel Erfolg in ze Deutscheland… 🙂 cheap beer, great food (mainly sausage), hot women (my perspective) and zat german efficiency! I’d move too if i could…

  16. NancyTex says:

    Hellz yeah!!! You finally left THAT PLACE!!! I’m giddy with excitement!

    I just did a very quick scan of the comments and see you’ve arrived safely, which is awesome. Now I pray that you aren’t staying in a roach-infested hostel with ebola-carrying guests…

    Cannot wait to hear more. Will follow the new one pronto.

  17. The Latvia tourist board sent me an email last week. I’ve been invited to an all-inclusive paid for media trip! On the agenda is your going away party. Funny enough, it specifically states the party will be held after you leave…

  18. Jenna says:

    I fucking love that shirt. Best of luck with everything in Germany (and snag a hot man – apparently there are lots of them there)!

  19. Allison says:

    Good luck with your new expat adventure! I’ll be following you there as well to see what hijinks you get up to. You should have some fun with the Germans and their blunt efficiency 😉

  20. Jude says:

    What a lovely last post! I know you’ll always think of Latvia fondly. Onwards to the next adventure!

  21. linnetmoss says:

    Good luck! My finger is hovering over the “follow” button, ready for some stories about German men 🙂

    • Expat Eye says:

      Looking forward to some stories about German men myself 😉 I’ve already seen a couple of cuties and I’ve only been here around 5 minutes 😉

  22. barbedwords says:

    Excellent, I’ve learnt everything I need to know about Latvia and now I can become just as informed about Germany 🙂 Good luck 🙂

  23. Ice_Badger says:

    oooh! this is very exciting! I can completely understand the conflicting emotions thing…the biggest move I have made is the length of the uk and I still had conflicting emotions!!

    and yes it is perfectly normal to narrate your life like that… I do it…so that make two of us, that is practically everyone!

  24. Good luck to Germany! 🙂 Hope that strict and serious germans will give you a warm welcome. And come back as a tourist. For the nice stuff. 😉

    • Expat Eye says:

      Ha ha! Thank you Zane, I think 😉

      • Don’t take my sarcasm too close to heart. 😉 Though I truly believe germans will need lady Luck on their side. 😀
        Don’t know what about Germans but Austrians have quite a lot of peculiar things in their life and the way they live it – so it will be interesting to compare experiences. 🙂

      • Expat Eye says:

        I’m sure Emmi could vouch for that 😉 I’m looking forward to getting to know all the weird bits – that takes a while though. I’d already been in Latvia 2 years when I started the last one so I had a lot of stuff in mind when I began. This time, I’m starting totally from scratch!

      • Emmi says:

        yes we are weird. often times we refuse to speak regular german to foreigners hoping they will catch on our weird dialect. but you have to see the bavarians first. they take the cake out of all the weird german speaking people.

      • Expat Eye says:

        Ha ha! I still want a dirndl though 😉

      • Emmi says:

        make sure you post a picture of yourself once you get that dirndl, linda

      • BerLinda says:

        Nobody could stop me from doing that! 🙂

  25. Emmi says:

    oh Linda you are adorable!

    • Expat Eye says:

      Ha ha! I think it’s the first time I’ve ever been called that!! 🙂

      • Emmi says:

        thats the association I have when you looking at your t shirt and how you smile with that beer glass. btw where is the horny t shirt? you need to start selling them.

      • Expat Eye says:

        Ah, I think that ship has sailed! And I’m not sure that t-shirt made the cut – this one did though! I’ll be carpe-ing that fucking diem all over Berlin 😉 With beer 😉

  26. Already following the new German blog! I hope your seatmate survived the bus ride!

  27. rower says:

    now,.when you’re gone.. should we follow you and prepare ourselves for timely visits ? 🙂

  28. Thank you for this blog – it’s been great fun following you in Latvia for the last however long it is. Now it’s onwards and upwards and over to Expat Eye on Germany (still nothing found there!). I’m looking forward to the journey… 🙂

  29. Cindi says:

    I’m a follower of “Nothing Found” also… looking forward to reading of your Berlin experiences right from the start! 🙂

  30. Diana says:

    Good luck Linda….I look forward to your views on Germany…..and Berlin…but I admit I will miss your views on Latvia……have really enjoyed reading your adventures….

  31. laugraeva says:

    Wow! Off to Germany! Hope you have as many adventures, if not more!

  32. June says:

    Looks like I’m too early for the good comments – will have to pop back later! It was nice having another Irish person here in the Baltics – I’ll miss having you around. All the best in Germany – I know you’ll love it (and it you!) Slán go fóill.

    • Expat Eye says:

      You’ll have to get more pally with John! Thanks for keeping me company there 😉 Passing through LT now – was on a street called Smelyness haha 😉

  33. I’m a follower!!! A follower of “nothing found”, but am hoping that’ll change shortly 😉

  34. I’m sooo excited for you! You’re onto a new journey in the land of immaculate living (Or so I’m told. Never been there. Too clean for me!)
    You’re gonna have an amazing time!
    BTW, I just had dinner with my Latvian friend last week. We had the best time catching up!! Her cousin is not a fan of the blog. But when the time is right i will get her take on it.
    One thing I learned from another Latvian (former) friend? She digs up plants in the forest, like wild flowers and ferns and transplants them in her garden. They are very hearty! I NEVER would have thought of that!
    Safe Journey Linda!

    • Expat Eye says:

      Give her cousin a slap for me 😉 Or not 😉 Hope she doesn’t have German roots too ha ha! Thanks for the support! And a bit of cleanliness and order will be just what the doctor ordered! 🙂

  35. lizard100 says:

    Watch out Berlin! Here you come!

  36. heatherinde says:

    Running narration is essential when leaving a place, so toss that long glossy mane (or pint) and stride confidently all the way to Berlin. Cannot wait to see what you make of ze Deutsch on a full-time basis!

  37. Paul says:

    Ha! “Becoming German in..” 479 million steps.Ha! And each one a blog post. Ahhh, as Irish lass in Germany.

  38. Anna says:

    That’s it. Waterworks. I’m so glad I was there to [almost] send you off with a bang!

  39. bevchen says:

    Hooray, you escaped alive! I’m awaiting your insights in Germany with bated breath!

    By the way, a German acquaintence posted photos of the baskets of mushrooms she picked in the woods the other day. You’re not safe from forests yet 😉 (Actually, to be fair, in the middle of the city you should be!).

  40. freebutfun says:

    There is nothing wrong with 50% (or more) forest 😉 Looking forward to stories from Berlin!

  41. Daina says:

    Well, all’s well that ends well, right? 😉

  42. Truly enjoyed the witticism, snarkiness, insights, and exploits you’ve shared here! I hope Germany is kind to you… but not *too* kind. You need to have plenty to write about. 😉

  43. Lāsma says:

    You’re welcome! 😉 *hugs*

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