Latvia Travel Stories, Page 3

The Perfect World

The Perfect World

Some Photos of Riga
The Perfect World does not exist; there is no Utopia where you and I will be perfectly content.

Where am I? I am sitting outside the WC Dusa or the Showers and Toilet in English. A blasй gray linoleum floor, with wall of orange and blue tile on the walls, this is the common shower and toilet area, totally vacant at 5:40 am in the morning in the Argonauts Hostel in Riga, Latvia. Nobody showers or probably will shower here before 9:00 AM as of yet, we only have the stragglers have not made it back to bed from the bars. Riga seems to be one of the full on, no stop party places of Europe. I do have to admit there is a new form of wiggle in the walk girl here that is very tempting. The music I have been hearing in the background is not so tempting; however, there is always a new bar on every corner, and always different.


There may be a strip joint down below as there are many girls walking around in their pajamas. I am sure this is something else, it is not really underwear, more of a made more alluring type of clothing. Stripper clothing that is what it is, however what is stripper clothing?

Smoking a cigarette and standing on one foot, I am above here looking down from the second floor. Stripper and prostitutes do not like photos.

Riga is majestic, rumpled, down to earth city, some type of Eastern Europe hangout perfect for a Stag Party and maybe a great place to pick up girls as they say in the USA or PULL as they say in England. I have no idea where the boys would take them, as I am living in a room with seven other people.

The buildings are all about five stories high, a mix of architecture, modern next to old, short next to tall, a great feeling for a city. It is like being in England in many ways, however more rumpled. Estonia is extremely organized and clean, hard to find anything out of place. Here I believe you can find many things out of place.

Imagine a horse cart, small mud or stone streets, laved out, as you would walk between the trees, not as a form of logic. Note this cobblestone make my two-wheeled carts terrible to pull.

This is the side of an older building; I would believe they tore down the building next to it to expose the side. I am interested in the Lath on the wall at the top, next photos shows better.

This is Lath, which is defined as small strips of wood, maybe wire mesh or anything that creates a framework for plaster. This is an oversimplified explanation of lath. On the other hand, who would know all the words to describe what is lath?

This from the ground level looks like reeds or strips of heavy leafs cut into strips and dried, or some form of cattails used as lath. I am not sure, too far away, maybe just pieces of wood. In the world of construction there has always been something mixed with the local building cement to reinforce the bricks, walls, or whatever.

The can use grass, bamboo, reads, leaves, straw, wire, junk, anything long and fiber like or long and think can be put in…

Mud, clay, sod, grass, concrete, plaster, or many configurations of materials.

The worst form of construction is probably wood; it has problems lasting more than maybe one hundred years. Normally the older buildings in the city are not a good example of how people lived if there was wood around. In Riga there was wood around so my guess is the present structures represented only about 5 percent of the types of buildings that existed.

Adobe used in Arabic countries or very poor quality clay is terrible also, more of a mud and less of clay. When it dries, it is still not a rock, it is just hard mud and when it rains, the house starts slowly to melt away. Mud house or adobe is a good question, what is the difference?

Mosquitoes in Hostel
We have mosquitoes in the Hostel, the 6.3 Asia looking person who is from the USA was warning me about the mosquitoes last night. There is a few, so far not enough for me to dig out my mosquito net. I had one of my worst nights for mosquitoes in my travels in Brugge Belgium as I did not have a mosquito net because I was under the impression I did not need this in Europe. I have learned my lesson, Europe is always two levels below my high expectations of quality however, this for sure is where the stereotype come from that American complain or always say things are better in the USA.

I normally am very good at avoiding the stereotype or cut them off at the pass before anyone can tell me the stereotypes. I know them better than them, so easy to anticipate their comments.

I was complaining about the lack of butter in the microwave popcorn and it burning in Parnu, Estonia, instantly the Dutch person assumed or seen this as me saying the USA is better. I was only commenting on the quality of this pack, however for sure the USA is better. In fact so far in the RIMI grocery store which appears to be some for of chain in the Baltic States here in Riga does not even sell microwave popcorn. I had to adapt and make popcorn in a bowl with a little butter, and a plate on top. My diet is going so so, however I think popcorn is better than most.

This Hostel is short on most things so I am not going to cook too much, it is short a stove in the kitchen, and there is a microwave. This is not a full kitchen, more of a way to say they have a guest kitchen, they do have a fridge.

I am tempted to go to Fun Franks Hostel or something like that, however not really a good idea to change a Hostel only for a few amenities, my gut says all of the Hostels in Riga are very party orientated and not really for living, more of a flophouse than a home.

Working on Perfect
I am working on Perfect, what is perfect and what is not perfect? I am a data collector or collector of ideas. I have many databases full of list, a list of what is good and bad about this non-perfect world.

Beautiful German Girl in Underwear
A beautiful Ger man girl in her underwear just came out to tell me and a Swedish guy talking with me to be quiet, he has just returned from the bars. He has a professional grade Nikon digital camera, and we have started to discuss various levels of taking photographs.

She came out again and gave me one of them German I am superior looks, and know better. I hope she understands I am in control and she is the one suffering, in a Darwin world, I win.

Riga Violence

A man just got mugged or hit in the street, he just walked in, I think he is drunk, however he just entered the Argonauts Hostel here in Riga. Stole his camera however he did not have his passport, they kicked him when he was down.

He needs to turn off his telephone, however he does not know who to call to turn off his service before they call the whole planet fast.

Latvia Boy Hitchhiked Iraq

Latvia Boy Hitchhiked Iraq
I am in Riga, Latvia now, and will stay a few days, was going to leave quick, however I need to hear the whole story.

I received an Email from a man living in Riga that Hitchhiked across Iraq, he is a member of some Latvian club of Hitchhikers. I think there are people on the planet more crazy than me, nonetheless we talked, he will return on Sunday and I will hear the whole story.

Travel Health while in Europe

Travel Health
Photos of how to be clean and healthy when traveling in Europe.

Dirty Beds
CNN can be interesting, however always trying to create controversy, because only controversy sells. I was happy to watch this show this morning in Estonia about bacteria; it was informative, educational and enlightening. I am sure it makes people nervous to watch this type of show. To me I cannot be bothered to be nervous, and however I can become aware and cautious.

Travel Health
My travels have taught me the seriousness of living everywhere on the planet, I live in uncontrolled environments, and it is not possible to avoid everything.

I took a photo the other day and was pointing out in the Lett’em Sleep Hostel in Berlin and the Old Town Hostel in Tallinn, Estonia did not require sheets on the beds. Therefore, about 75 percent of the travelers did not rent sheet and slept on the bare mattress. This made one reader write me and explain that my lifestyle not tempting. Now this is a linear type of thinking, not seeing that I control my environment, I do not sleep on a mattress without a sheet. I am not so paranoid as to use a sleeping bag liner on all beds; however, I do have a sheet sack available when needed.

Fungus, molds, bacteria, plus pathogens that causes problems are everywhere, I am sure I am not using the correct words. However, I am a very clean person in comparison to the other 75 percent of travelers.

Europe has been taxing on my cleanliness, as it is more difficult here to stay clean. There is a strange lack of laundry facilities in the Hostels I have entered so far, the one I am in has one in the Kitchen, the one in Tallinn had a washer and no dryer, however the cost was five dollars U.S. just to wash one load.

If you watch close the photos, you would see that I washed my clothes in the sink at the Lett’em Sleep Hostels in Berlin.

Tips written… hehehe in September 23, 2002

Photos of buckets I think.
Why carry a bucket?

Prepared to wash my clothes.
I am presently carrying laundry soap, a bucket, a way to heat or boil the water, and a bucket to hold the water. I have some nylon cord to make into a clothesline. I am carrying 15 pairs or underclothes and 15 pairs of socks, this takes up a lot of space. I have three pairs of long pants, five pairs of shorts, people always tease me about the weight, and I would like to tease them about being pigs. They are not prepared to travel; on the other hand, I think they live this way when in their home. I have found that people have not learned much in life, and only behave when somehow they are forced to behave. Having less than 25 percent of people using sheets is a great cultural example of real people, your children.

The pigs sleeping on the mattress with no sheet in the Old Town Hostel in Tallinn, this was the same in the Lett’em Sleep in Berlin.

This is the bucket or bottom of a plastic gas can I cut off in Thailand so I could cook water to a point to kill all the problems, most of the world does not use hot water for washing. I decided that every third time I need to cook my clothes to keep fungus and molds for staying inside the cloth.

Europe does have more hot water for washing; however, they do not have hand wash facilities in Hostels, and this forces people to go to the laundry mat to clean their clothes. I find that most travelers just keep wearing their clothing and I have only seen one person off to the laundry.

In Asia and the Americas, you can pay to have your clothes washed and these services are standard in the Hotels or Hostel; however, they seem to be missing in Europe…. Are we more civilized, I think not?

I carry a nylon cord for a clothesline and clothes line clips to help, I use them all the time to hang up my towel. I would venture to guess I am the only person in the last three weeks that was carrying these items. Cleanliness is choice, however a failure to find a way, is a cultural indication of people, how they live and how they think.

We are just a couple of DNA away from being monkeys.

Proper Englishman

Proper Englishman
There is an invigorating and inspiring experience that happens about once per year, and maybe more often if you take a trip to England. You may if very lucky, meet a proper Englishman, a person with the type of manners, etiquette and form that made England a great country. This plus all them colonies, Great Britain, and / or maybe the United Kingdom.

There is this gentleman in my dorm room presently who rises, to shake my hand when I entered, gave me eye contact, thumbs up, and a nod from his bed at 5:00 AM as I was leaving. We are not friends, we do not have great conversations, and we have respect for each other, and treat each other with respect. There is no condescension as is the standard behavior of many British people when meeting a person from the United States. It took me about four years to understand my feeling when around the Great Britain people; I finally realized they treat me as if I am a peasant or maybe some type of trailer trash, or hillbilly in more graspable terminology.

Most Europeans seem to have terminal low esteem and have trouble acknowledging the presence of anyone, there is this fear in their step, voice, and eyes that makes them weak. Americans are loud and naпve, assumptive of the idea that they are special, I am not sure which is worst, to believe you are special and not be, or the low self-esteem type and believe you are special. I have seen many people on the planet and the common factor among all of them is they believe their lives are special. I believe there is nothing special about my life, in fact the incredible pettiness of myself is overwhelming in so many way, travel belittles me, makes me understand my humility, I am a grain of sand on the beach, I will not be missed when I die.

I can feel an email coming from my Mother and Father as I stated that as my family and friends believe all are special and would do anything to make sure their family knows they are loved. I am loved; however, the mortality of life is always present for a traveler.

I walk down a street alone, I sometimes sit in my room, become a little afraid, what would happen if I died in this chair? Would this culture take the time to discover whom I am and why I existed, then try to contact my family? I do not believe this is guaranteed, maybe a 50/50 chance on the planet, 50 percent just become missing so the government does not have to deal with the embarrassment.

There is no noble class, and never should be anyone who is special from birth, money, or some perceived social status, however, there are individuals that are aristocratic in behavior and manner that do set themselves apart like the man in my room from England.

There is a path I have been traveling that is leading to a bad place, I am from a place and time where people say hello, look at each other and treat people with respect. However I can see that I am changing, travel is destroying my sense of what is proper and good manners. I find myself avoiding people, I neglect having good manners, because I know the others around me are animals, they will not appreciate or understand common respect. They are mean people in the world, which would take a nerd and not see the greatness in their simplicity and lack of sophistication. There is nothing sophisticated about being a snob, I must remember who I am and where I came from, remember I represent my family and my country when I am traveling, I must remember that the good Gods of the world wish me to be a good boy.

This is the priority of life, to be a good boy.

I was laughing as I heard a quote from a movie the other night I will paraphrase.

“Thank God, I was born smart enough to live in a small town.”

The clutter of humans, there is nothing possible in a herd of cattle that would create a better world. Too many people in the cities of the planet are not making the world a better place. There is an experiment where they put 2000 mice in a small box, they stop reproducing, they become mixed or confused of their identity, they stop reproducing and no longer mate. In the end they all die, this memory from a Psychology is remembered. What is sad is this was natural, because all things in a box are natural; this is what happens in a normal box, nothing abnormal, behavior that should be expected and predicted.

Riga Latvia Hostel with Free Internet

I am in the Argonaut Hostel in Latvia, still do not have a room, however they say the people will wake up and leave. It is noon.

Free internet, however the thumdrive does not work, however a common room with no TV, and a kitchen with no stove top, it is raining however the place is more like the Eastern Europe you would dream about. A little more beat up, have two people standing behind me waiting, so will find an internet cafe that is more Hobo internet friendly, I hope.