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Published: January 19th 2008
hello there, return of all this i suppose. i will start by a little spiel about east midlands airport. what can i say about that place? i'll put it joint top with rome ciampano in my list of lamest airports. now, i havent been to skopje yet and from what perry mccoy tells me it sounds lacsidasical, but for now, the triad of notts, derby and leicester join rome at the top of that unfortunate pile. hah, pile, how appropriate.
despite that, absolutely beautiful flight. that one definitely tops that particular list anyway. i've always said that flying at night was my favourite thing, but i can probably now change that for flying in the early hours of the morning, sunrise included. just absolutely charming in every way, i wanted to sleep but didnt want to miss out on any of the aesthetics. of course, the oligatory sigur ros made it all better as well, but still, just totally gorgeous. even had some turbulence on the way down, and we all know how much i love that stuff. flight landed, got me luggage, and went out to get into the usual hilarity of the couchsurfer search. easy enough this time, and i was to meet a lovely young lady called arta metzala. super lovely from the start, really exciting to talk to and just super interesting, arta's ace. it's true. all this despite being taller than me.
after much faffing around outside the airport, we got on a bus for the centre. from there we got a tram out to artas house. off the tram, and a little walk over puddles and puddles culminated in an ooooooooooooold looking house. through the door, no lights, up the stairs, no lights. you'd think i was feeling a little worried, it was all very krakow nightie woman i guess, but still. anyway, got to arta's door, went in. her flat is bloody lovely! really colourful, and spacious yet small. lovely place! met the family, all of whom were reassuringly normal and wonderful. little english spoken by the parents, but despite that i still dont feel uncomfortable here in the slightest. ace little family. mark that down as another win for couchsurfing.
arta had to go to her abode of education for a couple hours today, so i used that time to mince around riga. i bought a jumper, a cosy little brown number. i came within moments of purchasing a baby piano, all 10 keys of it, but pulled out at the last minute. i regret that now, but still, i should save i suppose. after much mooching around riga's old town, which is absolutely wonderful by the way, i finally stumbled upon what would be my next stop on this seemingly endless tour of europe's depressing history. yes, thats right, the 'latvian museum of occupation'. a museum detailing the modern history of latvia and the problems it has encountered in its occupation by the soviets, then the germans, then the soviets again. a short little museum, but no less moving for it. as with all of these museums, it was really well put together, and i totally recommend it. kinda inspiring towards the end in a way as well. good work!
met back up with arta, bought a toothbrush (YES!) and headed back for tea. for the first time in my life, i had chilli! ok, being the lame-o i am i didnt eat too much, but thats not the point. i had chilli! woo! then had another of arta's mums mad uniquely poured coffee, and then came riga's black balsam. a strange spirit, its pure black, 45% alcohol. yuck. i poured a shot of it, and smelt it, and then instantly regretted smelling it. fun times not ahead it seems. i ended up mixing it with coke, which produced a strangely enjoyable taste i must say, kinda like jagermeister but not for fools. i'm going to purchase a bottle for home methinks. neve should enjoy that.
me and arta went out for a drink this evening, at a lovely little bar called 'i love you'. we ordered chips with ketchup, we got wedges with mayo. score! lovely little bar though, with shocklingly quaint cosy toilets. madness! on the way back we stopped at a hotel where you can go up a lift, 26 floors up, and have a view of all of riga. this was prettyace, if it werent for the british sex tourists also in the lift. damn! anyway, the way down was just me and arta, and there were fireworks in the distance, which was pretty acely timed. might do that again tomorrow. anyway, got to the station for the tram home, and for some reason we started dancing in the streets. we got moves i tell ya. off the tram, followed all the way home by a strange figure, and i won the race to the house. go bills! walk in the door, and whats on?
its only 'a matter of life and-freakin-death!'. yes, thats right, my favourite movie in the history of the world, only in latvian.
quality day. now i must sleep, as i only got 2 hours last night. in a bit!
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