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Through the handmade glass vol.2

You think I'm little bit critical for Latvia? I prefer the antique capital of Latvia to the chaos of the scrap and build. But for some reason picture of Ukraine is overlapped when I'm in Latvia. Oh, Ukraine ... That was tough travel to me. The police who tried to hustled me, a street gang, winos in the city, then the conflicts in recent years.
Of course Latvian people is kind enough, police can be trusted and cities are safe. However I felt similar air to the Ukraine although I don't know why.

My 'Eastern Blocs' impression to Latvia must cased by the chance to hear Russian language compare to Estonia. Both countries have Russian people in same rate for the population, 30%. In Estonia for example, a road sign is written only in Estonian language while it's written in Latvian and Russian in Latvia.
In a market, I saw all the people said "Dobro utro (Good morning)" That's one of few Russian phrases I knew.
So I asked to the local people. "What's going on the language in this country?" Here is the answer. The official language is Latvian. Although from the historical back ground, Russian also widely used. The people older than middle age had an education of the Russian. Therefore they speak the Latvian and Russian. The young speak Latvian and English although they know only practical Russian. Meanwhile some people from Russia or Belarus etc. whom I mentioned before speak only Russian language. "Ah, market? That's a kind of special place Russian language is frequently used" The place Russian merchant made a business with their powerful network, I guess. After all, Latvian people switched the languages depend on the situation.

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, the three countries are known as Baltic states. Visiting those countries at once is popular plan for tourists. Meanwhile I kept my slow travel pace. I spent most of the time on an isolated island in Riga bay, some Estonian towns and Latvia's capital city, then time's over. The impression I got from the short travel is the each country has each character although they are rounded up by the tourist as "Baltic states". For the people of the each country Tallin and Riga could be one of foreign cities.
In another words the Baltic states are so diverse. So gotta see Lithuania too? (Actually my only knowledge about the culture of Baltic states had been some Lithuanian movies) I must mention it someday in Lithuanian issue.

Oct. 2016

Today's piece
" Coffee stand " Riga, Latvia 2016

fumikatz osada photographie