Rigas Diena #6: The Balzam Night


In a cold dawn, I walked Brivibas iela to reach Vecriga (the Old Town). Close to Dailes theatre, I felt some buzz. By looking around, I saw the silhouette of an old man dancing.

Beardy and shabbily dressed, this old man spoke to me in Latvian. As I didn´t understood a single word, he pointed the road: maroon buses with a yellow disco ball on the top (such as the ones used in ambulances) were bumper cars though.

Now in front of me, the old man stick a light-green post-it in my forehead. I thanked him and walk away, keeping my way to Kalku iela.

When I passed the Museum of Occupation (KGB building) I witnessed a curious phenomenon: golden snowflakes were ascending to the sky.
I looked around to verify if there was someone else seeing the same as me… but I was alone.

So I kept walking in Daugava´s direction. To make sure everything was ok, from time to time I was looking back. On the corner of Lacplesa iela, I crossed to the other side, to the St Alexander Nevsky church´s sidewalk.

On the fence of the orthodox church there was a different street name ‘Brivibatas iela’. – A mix of Brivibas and Terbatas… – I thought to myself. From there, I noticed that the right side of the street was composed by buildings from Terbatas iela, while the left side had the expected ones of Brivibas iela.

I walked and walked, wondering what was happening to me. There was no logic in all these happenings! I finally stopped and realized how close I was to Dailes theatre again, however on the opposite side from the first time.

On the road, buses had recovered their traditional appearence. I crossed the street to meet the old man again. This time, I found that the old man was, actually, a statue. Sitted with one of the legs crossed, he had an open smile and was drawing into the atmosphere, reminding me Mynheer Peeperkorn´s character in ‘Magic Mountain’ (a novel by Thomas Mann).

I felt tired. A urgent need to sleep. So, instead of proceeding to the Old Town, I decided to go back home. On the next day I woke up in a mess: my body broken; my head heavy; my mouth dry. Glued in my forehead, I found a light-green post-it with the name ‘Irbite’.

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Rigas Diena’ is a collection of 16 chronicles about my experience of living 9 months in Riga. Download it for free in a pdf that also includes a guide to make you get the best of the latvian capital.

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