The other day I saw a review a Canadian teacher wrote about Russians, and I thought to myself that it can be interesting to make my own review about Latvians. I have been living here for 6 months, maybe it does give me the right to make the review, maybe it doesn’t but the thing is I don’t really care.
I added here some nice pics I made today. Hope you like it.
1. Latvians find a lot of occasions to buy chocolate, flowers, bottle of champagne or some kind of bonbons as a gift for name day, birthday, and celebration in general, or as a “thank you” for some favor. (most East-Europeans)
2. The population density is very low (and especially after the emigration of 300.000 people in the last 15 years, let´s not forget Latvia only has 2 million inhabitants) and that makes it very easy to see people walking in the middle of the woods or in places far away from the cities. Very strange view for me especially after dark.
3. Latvia should be named the “Country of Darkness” for the lack of street lighting. You can break your neck even in the city.
4. Latvians don´t have the habit to meet for coffee.
5. Spring and especially summer are the most awaited moments in a year time.
7. Bathhouse is a must. (sauna is an alternative)
8. When they hear you are from Spain they automatically smile (and I think they picture the Caribbean beach in their heads), and start thinking about some Spanish word they know.
9. Anyone who speaks a language other than Latvian or Russian will automatically become interesting, interrogated, and envied.
10. The social problem between the “Russian” (not only Russians included there, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainians or other nationalities that were drawn away with the Soviet Union) and the native Latvians makes the entire country angry all the time, and split in two. (with this subject I will write an entire post)
11. Smile for no reason, saying “hi” to unknown person in the building, saying “thank you” in the supermarket with a smile, just being polite, nice and happy is a reason to be looked at in a very weird way. They ask themselves “why you’re so happy?”
12. The appearances is very important, you might see a lot of Porsches on the streets, and a lot of BMW and Mercedes…not the cheap ones, you know like the ones that cost like 2 houses in Latvia, or approximately 4 flats.
13. Sushi and Asian food in general is more popular in Latvia than in Asia. (I guess the healthy life makes this happen)
14. Russian from Latvian society, and I guess Russians in general are more concerned about the philosophical side of life than about the material, and they have a song, poem, legends and all king of grandmother stories to tell about war, and love, and treason, and love again. They are extremely romantic
15. Latvians have serious problems with parallel parking, it can take 10 minutes to do it and in some cases they just go to find a bigger place, or a not parallel one. Driving in general is not so bright.
16. There is a special attribute Latvian people have to seek for the discounts, obviously the economic situation is the reason, but I think even if they will start having western salaries, they will still double check the prices, and compare … just in case.
17. There is a big problem with the relationship between the client and the servant, the attendant, the waiter, or however you want to call it. Doesn’t matter if is a restaurant, if is a supermarket, a bus station or an electronic shop, it feels that you, the client, have to be extremely thankful to the person attending you, not the other way around like in the rest of the planet. Is like the attendant is making You a favor attending you.
18. Latvian people don´t have the idea of the personal space, you know… the meter around you which is not supposed to be invaded. The space that when someone cross it makes you feel like someone violated your privacy. Is very possible to be looking at a product in a shop and suddenly have some arms in front of you, some elbows pushing you, or some employee putting some products on the shelves between your legs.
19. The majority live a healthy life, with a very good awareness of the nature, and its benefits.
20. They live a healthy life even if is difficult having the gastronomy full of fats and a lack of fishes in their diet.
21. Latvians gather in the kitchen late at night talking about “life”, what I like to call philosophize.(maybe more the Russian half then the natives of Latvia)
22. They are responsible drivers, especially with the “drink and drive”.
23. Russian and Latvians drink lots of vodka. This is not a stereotype.
24. Latvians simply do not understand when a foreigner from the West expresses his wish to permanently live in Latvia. They ask themselves “But Why???”
25. There is no such a thing as “routine” test (examination of the state of health), general doctor or dentist. You go to the doctor only if something needs to be fixed.