Thursday, 5 December 2013


In the past week or so I have been contemplating about my relationship with Riga. Yes, you understood that correctly! I feel like I have a love-hate things going on here, and I hope to tell you why it is that I feel this way.

When I returned home this summer, I thought that it is the absolute right thing to do, that it will make me and my friends and relatives happy. And so it did! But there is more to this seemingly simple skit. To begin off, I want to make it clear that I am happy to be able to see people whom I didn't see when I was abroad, I am happy to hear Latvian language on the streets, I am happy that I have a sense that I am where I belong, I am happy to play with my nephews, I am happy to roam the streets of this city of wonders.

And yet, there is a feeling of eternal sadness to this place. I was on the bus to work this evening and I was thinking about how it is possible to have such mixed feelings about a city (or anything really).

Why is it my home? It is where I was born, and raised as a child, at least most of my childhood. It is the place where I learned the primary human skills, walking, reading, loving, caring, language .. It is where I begun school. It is where I had my first boyfriend. Riga has always been the place where I can return, it was always the place where I was from, and there would always be things waiting for me. Almost every block in this city brings up countless memories that have made me who I am today. There have been sad days, events, happening, and quite the opposite. I have attended celebrations here, I remember that when I was a kid I was dragged through the old town on the 18th on November to see the fireworks. I recall drawing chalk drawings on the pavement in the park. I remember the adventures I had as a kid with my brothers, water-gun wars with other neighbourhood kids, playing in the backyard of our house, building snowmen in the winter, collecting  chestnuts after kinder garden, we did all kinds of pranks at home, and pissed off our parents. Oh, and how I loved playing with dolls and getting mad at my brother We had our first pet, we wanted one so badly, and then one end of summer there was a small kitty waiting for us at home. Then we grew, I grew, and the city grew as well. Things changed, and doing silly pranks was no longer timely, we had "bigger" and "better" things to do. School got more serious, friendships got more valuable, parents got wiser. Then came the first parties, first experiments, and serious things, like making science projects, attending extra curricular activities, etc.

And then I was gone for seven years, and during all this time Riga was my home, it made me proud to say that that is where I come from. So naturally it became more and more dear to, it was a special place, where everything would be great! That is why I returned here this summer, I returned here to stay here for good. But over this roughly half a year that I've been back I have realized something, the city isn't what I thought it was. It is a sad place, it grows memories like mushrooms. This made me wonder, how many memories can one place hold? I have a feeling that I have made myself believe that Riga is the place to be, but in reality, it isn't so, not at all. It is my personal pit hole, my doom. I want it to be more, I hoped and dreamed that it was bigger that it actually is.

Let's face it, Riga is just another city in the game of globalization, it is a small, tiny piece of the puzzle called world. It is hard to believe that I have fooled myself to believe that is is a magical place.

This is where the two world collide, this is where I do not know how much I really hate or love this city, my city. I get confused and it makes me frustrated.

Either way, I am here now, but as people have told me along the way, there is a huge possibility that I will not last here for long, I will want to run away again.

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