Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Week of Entertainment

Oh yeah, one thing I forgot to point out about how cool Stockholm is: let's say you're running for the bus but on the way realise a) you don't have enough change or b) you don't have your wallet with you. If you don't have a cell phone, you're completely up creek, but if you do, you can send a quick SMS to the transportation number and buy a ticket that way. Spiff, no?

Okay, on to the week of entertainment. Why week? Because it's an approximate calendar week, leave it be. Entertainment? Weeeeeell, it all started on Saturday morning when I picked up my new computer.

That's right, this post is coming to you from the half-comfort of my own couchbed.

So that's just entertainment on its own - I now have my "land-line" back, my "TV" back, all of it. Saturday was spent hanging around Riga centre in the lovely weather (don't worry, Sunday to today has been either cloudy/rainy/depressing or sunny and cold, by May standards), looking at the photography display (A Day in Latvia, 1987 and 2007) set up in Doma laukums, and then heading home for a quick nap and a bit of tinkering with a project I had gotten for the weekend, before heading back into the centre for Museum Night.

Museum Night! Not all as exciting as I would have thought it would be, but it was definitely interesting seeing how absolutely packed the buildings and streets could be. Museum Night happens once a year in Latvia, where basically every museum in Riga and other major Latvian cities is open until the very wee hours of the morning. I doubt that the museums see that much action (I'm talking huge lines of people waiting to get inside) any other day. I started late, met up with some friends (who were very [Slava!, much??] plastered with round stickers in all kinds of colours, showing which museums they had been to see) and took a quick turn through the National Art Museum and the tiny yet shiny Latvian jewelry museum.

Sunday I did nothing but wash laundry, watch three movies on my computer (entertainment) and take a quick trip with my flatmate to the resident Nelda grocery store (entertainment - I still don't know how to get there and back from our apartment. I rely on my flatmate to steer me through the labyrinth that is our neighbourhood).

Bad choice! Monday I was overly stir crazy, even borderline hysterical. I think I've really learned that, as much as I'd love to and as wonderful as it sounds to just sit and do jack for an entire day, I pay for it dearly with what could be considered an energy hangover. I have too much of it the day following and almost need to cry after sitting at my desk for 8 hours. Anyway, during the day Monday a friend sent me an SMS saying that music artist Imants Daksis was having a CD release concert. For free. So I totally went. The only thing I knew about Imants Daksis was from what I read of a relative's album review of Daksis' last album; the music wasn't necessarily bad, it was just weird.

This was beyond me as the first "set", in which he played songs from his new album, were really good and, despite some of the texts being a bit more than I'm used too, completely normal. The guy sitting in front of us was a normal, long-haired (Daksis ditched the bald head and long beard image, apparently) indie musician. THEN he got into his old stuff, which was, in all sense of the concept, AN AWKWARD TIME. The guitar was still amazing, but I can't say I was feeling the lyrics about "burnt witches" and "massacred Indians", although I thought that the general message of the song was important. There was a message, really.

Tonight I'm heading out to go see Chekov's "The Seagull". It's supposed to be a short play, and I've checked with my grandfather, who approves of it, so I'm expecting a decent evening. Keeping my fingers crossed (or holding my thumbs)!

Addition: The Chekov play wasn't bad, but I didn't really get it. I'll have to read an English version of it to see if it makes sense then. Tomorrow evening we're going to stop by Livu laukums to see Vilkaci perform. At this point, anything to keep my mind off of the new loss of a seriously excellent family member, who was like a figurative sibling to me. R.I.P., Kimene. This is one of the rare times in my rounds of Europe where I regret not being home.

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