February 12th, 2008
Categories: General

Back From Riga!

 

Hello everybody! Thanks to Celeste, Malin, Debbie and Bush (who’s post I missed, sorry!) for excellently guest posting whilst I was away – I will contact you shortly with a***** and e******* points. So. What of Riga? The capital of Latvia?

Well, I first of all must apologise to the increasing number of Latvians who are reading my blog. I can see why you hate my fellow countrymen so much following some shocking displays I saw on the streets. Nevertheless, we did our best to try and avoid it, and I didn’t urinate on the national monument, even though I was told I could piss away all over the Soviet Monument without fear of reprisal.

So much happened in 3 days that even now I’m struggling to remember everything that has happened. Here’s some of the stories:

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1. They’re Not Interested, Are They?
On our second night in Riga (the first being limited to two of us, myself included, hitting a bar, drinking black balzam, and generally mingling well with the locals), began well. I was told by a couple of Aussies that you need to go to the Victory Pub for a good time. I am not quite sure exactly what they meant “for a good time”, but we walked in and were set upon by two ladies of less than moral high standings. It was so off-putting, so a general “lets get the fuck out of here” in Welsh was issued and we bid a hasty retreat.

The night was almost ruined, and I headed back to the hostel as I wasn’t feeling it. However, it was well and truly saved by the residents of the hostel, who took them to one of their haunts, a hidden away bar called “The Orange Bar”, where we all began to drink, be merry, mingle with each other and the locals, and some of us may or may not have danced on tables.

Incidentally, I met the Aussies and told them, they had no idea so we had a good giggle about it. In hindsight it was rather amusing.

2. Promoting My Blog and “Other Services”
badgelatvia.jpgIt wasn’t just a holiday, oh no, I used the trip to whore out my blog with a selection of badges I gave to people in the hostel in the vain hope they visited. I even put one on the community noticeboard.

And then, surprises of surprises, one of the girls asked me for my number.

As I simultaneously picked my jaw off the floor and recovered from a heart attack, I quickly gave it to her (the number, that is), only to find that the next morning, somebody had written “#1 Sex Line in Latvia, call now!” next to it. At the moment, nobody has been brave/stupid enough to call it, but if you see a “Rhys has been forced to change his number after been hounded constantly by hormonal youth hostel residents wanting 1-2-1 oral (as in speaking, you perverts) action, so give me your new number” Facebook Group set up in the near future, you heard it here first.

Incidentally, that’s not to say I’m rubbish at the sexy talk, hell I’m pretty good at congering up romantic tomes full of characters, plotlines, twists and all the other stuff you chicks seem to dig. Just I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m #1 in Latvia.

3. The Food
Probably the most worrying thing about the trip was the food, I haven’t heard great things about it. To be honest, I was completely and pleasantly surprised with my first meal of the trip – Ribs with Bacon and Sauerkraut.

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It was divine! Honest to god the nicest thing I’ve eaten in ages. It was in the Stella Pub – a fairly English friendly pub with rugby and football matches. I washed it down with a pint of Luxsus, a gorgeous beer.

The other highlight of my food in Riga was this odd bread. The closest thing I could say it was like was like a sausage roll with added onion, but instead of looking like a roll, it looked like a nondescript croissant. It was horrendously tasty though.

hessburger.jpg

However, they were the highlights. I had a Hesburger one night, and it made me ill. I also did something I’ve yet to do for 3 years and I’m ashamed myself for doing it.

I had a McDonalds.

And that made me ill too.

As did a chocolate sundae of questionable origin.

4. Miscellaneous

stpeter.jpgOne of the more impressive sights in Riga is St Peter’s Cathedral, and actually became my favourite Cathedral in the world. Basically, what makes it special in my eyes is the fact that it’s almost entirely made out of bricks and mortar. Rather than the bare faced bling seen in the vatican city, this was impressive, yet humble, like the people who made it had nothing, but gave what they did have to make a wonderful piece of architecture.

Two things about the people – at times I felt very very fat and ugly as a large proportion of the women were slim and chicly attractive, and I’m probably a better driver than most of them already.

I flew for the first time with Ryanair. I’ll be honest, I expected a lot worse than what people say about it. What I do hate about them is the fact that every 10 minutes they try to sell you crap! It’s so annoying! No wonder people hate the fact I whore myself out on this blog.

trafficcountdown.jpgThe traffic lights were funny with a great way of crossing the road. It told you how long it was on green or red before changing, thus making the decision on whether to walk or not accross the road (most poeple walked).

Finally, whilst certain foods made me ill, one item legitimately injured me. We were walking through the market (the largest permanent market in Europe. That’s a Lat Fact!), specifically, the fish section. Whilst in the fish section, the fish was fresh, but too fresh, as one unidentified fish decided to make a break for it, and jump from the box it was in to hopefully land in some water. Alas, it landed underneath my foot, which killed it for good, but sent me slipping and injuring my back. Luckily, it’s no harm done, but still shocked me!

There is one more story, but that I feel needs a whole blog post. If you ever get the chance to go to Riga, do it, it’s a wonderful city, the people are friendly and the beer is tasty!

If you get the chance to go. Go, as it’s a wonderful country.

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