Friday, December 9, 2011

Riga, Latvia Day 1

I'm right now in Latvia taking some leave before I visit Singapore during Christmas and over New Years'.  I've now been living in Norway for over a year, how time flies.  It's been very interesting and a huge learning experience.

The flight departed late from Oslo, over half an hour, and when we arrived in Riga it was snowing and raining (today's weather was frankly, bloody awful!).  Everyone on the plane was ethnic Norwegian except me.  Norwegians love their holidays.  The plane was full of them!

At the airport I took some money out at the ATM to pay for the bus but then later left my card in the machine. :)  So I had to cancel the card, good thing I always have a backup (redundancy, it's an important issue to consider even in the non IT world) so, minor bump.

I walked around the malls today mainly, Stockmann Department Store where I had lunch (prawn sandwich and a chicken burger from a deli) and the Origo Shopping Mall which is where Central Station is located.  Took a long walk down the Marijas iela as well which is where both malls are located.  I didn't take any day photos due to the weather and well, it's winter now so the sun sets at 3ish.    Walking around Riga really made me feel like a minority, there's pretty much zero Asians here.  And I literally mean zero.  I got so many people staring I was wondering if I had a third eye or a second nose.  But if you're Norwegian there's plenty of Norwegians here doing their shopping, so I guess you won't feel like you're a minority.  I bought bathroom things from the shopping mall, a place called Drogas whose logo looks remarkably similar to the Watsons logo, they even sell similar things.  Bought water from Rimi, which also exists in Norway.  They have Narvesan here too, also in Norway.

Dinner was at a Japanese place called Kabuki and had some tom yum soup, seafood rice noodles and green and strawberry tea.  I was still hungry after that.  I bought a huge apple and a pear for tomorrow morning from some random fruit and vegetable shop along Marijas iela, will probably eat more though.  Took at a walk at the Galerija Centrs Shopping Gallery which is located next to Kabuki after that then it's back to the hotel.

Here's my setup in the hotel

Just outside Origo Shopping Mall

Along Marijas iela, cool snowflake lights!

Berga Bazar

Riga's pretty modern.  I'm rather surprised, to be honest.  Tomorrow will be a more exciting day.  Stay tuned.

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