It rained cats and dogs and huge wet raindrops when we left Helsinki. Down South in Riga the water had frozen into wet heavy snow. And it never ended. Our brain break turned into a brain freeze.While it is definitely wrong towards the Latvians, this weekend Riga reminds me of a Russian city snowed under. Something out of a James Bond movie. Wet, heavy snow falling from the gray sky. People with heads covered, hunkered down against the blizzard, hobbling and dragging heavy boots forward on the slushy streets. Old men warming their hands in jacket pockets. And so many old women, going about their grocery shopping in heavy down coats, beret on head and basket on arm. I see no joy in Riga today. No energy, no celebration of life.
And yet one day there will be joy. There will be sunlight, energy, and celebration of life. In our last hour in Riga we caught a glimpse of sunkissed streets, pastel-colored art nouveau houses, the scent of old wood, and the particular echo of cars passing on hot summer streets.