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January 21st 2008
Published: January 21st 2008
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it's cooooooooold.

well, lots to put in here i guess, has been an interesting couple of days. i'll do the right thing and start at the beginning, makes the most sense really. ok, a matter of life and death in latvian was wonderful, not that i picked up a word of it but of course i pretty much know that film off by heart, so it wasnt really a problem. i must have looked a little silly talking over that 'may i remind you sir, we are not alive at all' bit. wonderful bit though really, probably one of my 3 favourite movie moments ever. GEEK. anyway, watched that, and went to sleep. after being rudely awoken by a cat, i got up and had a morning coffee and breakfast. breakfast consisted of these little slices of toast, with melted cheese on top, and various other toppings. some had bacon, some had onion, tomato, sausage, etc etc. some had them all! tasty things though, even if im not really a breakfast person.

went for a walk with arta and her mum, which was nice. the sun was out yesterday, and it was what i usually call 'proper estonian' weather. you know, mad sunny but cold at the same time. the best type of weather putting it bluntly. we walked through probably the poshest part of the area, every single house looked like it was from cribs. there was one that genuinly looked like the future. it was kinda like somewhere the jetsons would live, with huge windows and no bedrooms, or at least it seemed that way from the outside. the walk continued, we ended up going in a big circle really. walked past a boarded off area, with what looked like army barracks behind them. this was of course confirmed by arta's mum, who said that nobody knows whats there, except everyone knows it was soviet. top notch work there.

we left arta's mum and me and arta headed to the city. this was where it got a little strange. now, im not really sure what happened exactly, but i shall explain the best i can. a man sat in front of us, and he was clearly a little all over the place. he accidentally dropped his bag on my foot, and of course, apologised. anyway, he then kept turning round and apologising, saying something a lack of sleep and a headache. then (this was weird), he points at his head, reaches into his pocket, pulls out a gun, holds the gun to his head, and then puts the gun back in his pocket. now, i have no idea if it was a real gun, and to be honest i dont want to know, but good god. for some reason, all i said was 'you dont want to do that lad', as if he about to drink a baked bean tequila. if that was a real gun, then crikey. anyway, he then gave me and arta gifts i suppose, hers being some chewing gum and mine being some anti-alcohol and anti-tobacco mints. suffice to say these were thrown away long before anyone could think about eating them, because they might have just been crazy chews. very very bizarre. once we were off the tram we had a little giggle about it, before i mentioned the gun thing, which arta hadnt seen. the poor girl looked terrified. ah well, stories to tell and all that.

we walked around the area of riga where all the embassies are, and the buildings there are gorgeous. they are all really old, really tall with intricate designs and lots of balconies and whatnot. i dont think i've ever genuinly wanted to live in a building that much, some of them were just totally immense. i was a little shocked at arta's correct pointing out of the uzbekistan flag, before realising it was written on the wall in front of us. john the gork. lovely area though, lovely lovely lovely.

yesterday was a pretty important day for latvians, as it was the real beginning of their push for independence in 1991. on that day 17 years ago, soviet crazy folk stormed the ministry of interior and shot 5 unamrmed latvian folk. several months later we gets an independent latvia. so every house yesterday is expected by law to have a latvian flag adorning it from outside, which was nice. nice to see countries proud of their flag for a reason other than football. we walked to dome square, where there was a museum bus thing with a video on the back window, original footage from that time in 1991. a small group of women were singing, kids playing by fires and all that. it was very nice, if a little strange. good work latvia.

we headed back to arta's house then as we were both a bit tired out from all the walking, and had a quiet evening. interesting note, on the tram home we passed a graveyard, and every single grave has a little bench next to it. not one to speak highly of graveyards, but i thought it was a really nice touch. i'm not sure if thats an individual to latvia thing, but even so, nicely done. got back to arta's and had a well deserved sit down. we then watched a film called 'my blueberry nights', with jude law, norah jones and natalie 'look how hot i am' portman. enjoyable film, it must be said, if a little short. not in time, but in story. and jude law, stop kissing people whilst they are asleep, it isnt cool.

for tea yesterday we all made our own pizzas, which was pretty epic. cheese, tomato, sausage, peppers and mushrooms. i dont know why i went for that, but it looked good, and tasted decent. pizza making must be my business. little note, today i went to the seaside, now im going to see a holocaust memorial and tonight im going to the opera (seriously), but i will write about all of that tomorrow. until then!


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