Learning Latvian + 2 Weeks to Go!


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February 26th 2015
Published: February 26th 2015
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I'm down to 2 weeks. In exactly 14 days from now, I'll be on my way to the airport. I've been anticipating this trip for so long, and today is really the first time I've gotten the jitters when thinking about it. Huzzah! All my lodging is booked. All my flights have been purchased. This is becoming more real...

I tend to get ready for this trip in short spurts, like a fixation for a few hours, and then go back to doing my normal thing for a few days. Yesterday was one of those short spurts. I booked a couple of my ground transports. The first was a shuttle from LGA to JFK. I've got 6 hours between flights in NYC, so I figure that's plenty of time. The second was my AndorraBus from BCN to Andorra and back. The only part of that trip that scares me is that my flight to BCN is with Ryanair, and they aren't exactly known to be reliable. I've given myself a couple of hours between the supposed arrival in BCN and the bus departure, but it's currently the only connection on this whole trip that makes me nervous. I've wanted to go to Andorra since I was in high school, though, and this is the best shot I've got for making it a reality.

I also bought a ticket to see "West Side Story" in Douglas, Isle of Man. It's just about the only artsy thing to do there, so why not? Eno and I are planning on seeing "Billy Elliot" in London while I'm there, too. I don't know what other opportunities for music/theater I'll have on this trip, but at least the first 10 days will have some.

Air Baltic had sent me an email notifying me of a need to reschedule my flight from PRG to VNO about 3 weeks ago, so I went in and changed the flights online. But since it was a 2-part flight, there was a problem, and I was told to call them. That was not what I wanted to hear. I finally got around to calling them yesterday - I hadn't had international calling on my phone, but I do now - and they were quite efficient. Everything was arranged and I got an email in less than 5 minutes. I really am looking forward to that part of my trip - 13 days in Lithuania and Latvia. That's why I'm learning Latvian. I just hate having to rely on everyone else speaking English. And it's been my policy until now not to go to a country where I couldn't communicate in the local language. I'm also learning Portuguese, which is pretty easy since I already know French, Italian, and a little Spanish. I'll be in Portugal for 9 days, and I think I'll do just fine.

Latvian is so much fun, though. It's just different enough from any language I've ever studied to make it a challenge, but close enough to other languages to make it familiar. Those 2 years of Russian are coming in handy. I look forward to being able to use the language with the locals. I doubt they'll be impressed - after all, how good can I be, 10 weeks from now? Who knows? But I bet they'll be surprised.

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