Rooftop, ministry of Agriculture
In less than two weeks, I’ll be in Latvia: in Riga, possibly in Ventspils. Or somewhere in between, riding a bus with women in kerchiefs carrying jars of pickled fish and boys in tracksuits carrying mobile phones. All I have right now is a plane ticket, the name of the place where I’m supposed to be staying, a vague idea of bus schedules, and an interview I’m supposed to be doing with the culture section of a major Latvian newspaper on the weekend of the 10th.
I think. So (little) I’ve been told.
Everything about every trip I’ve ever made to Latvia has always had some sort of ominous vagueness surrounding it: where are we right now? they want us to get in this car and go somewhere with them. it’s some sort of herbal tea, i guess? i don’t know what time we’re meeting them. i THINK we’re near the estonian border, but it could be russia? But this time I’m going there without my trusty friends’ hands guiding me around the city, without the knowledge that I’ll be sipping a beer at my favorite bar at that hour when the streets go dark, or sitting in a kitchen on Tērbatas Iela in the morning listening to SWH on the purple boombox. It’s an unfamiliar trip to a familiar place. But only vaguely. Everything hazy like a dream. And so I’m only vaguely apprehensive.
Somehow, this image of the back of an exclamation point illustrates that feeling just right.