Sunday, October 24, 2010

My Funny Finnish Friends

Finnish Crew
Turns out Riga, Latvia is a very popular transfer airport because the Finnish crew that was staying with Claudia and me at the hostel were also flying there, on the same day, at the same time.  They kindly offered me a ride to the airport in their prepaid taxi van.  I was ecstatic to have company and a free ride so I took them up on their generous offer.  We made it to the airport and spend the rest of the day making many laughs (I mean, telling jokes and laughing).  I got a lot of exposure to their rarely spoken language; only six million people worldwide speak this Nordic language.  

They kept telling me that since so few people speak Finnish, it is kind of a useless language; it's finest purpose is that it allows them to talk to each other without worrying who is listening.  They were full of funny travel stories like this one: they were laughing about the time they were in Mongolia trying to get stamps at the post office.  They were having an impossible time acquiring a specific type of stamp, because none of them spoke Mongolian.  A woman passed them, said three words and got exactly what they had been trying to painstakingly obtain for five minutes.  As a force of habit, they spoke Finnish to each other and blatantly uttered profanities at the woman.  After all, it's not like anyone speaks Finish.  She turned around and retorted with an equally vulgar insult in perfect Finish.  They were dumbfounded; they met the only other person in the country that spoke their unique language.

Another guy told me about the time he woke up because some man in his hostel was holding his leg a foot in the air.  He was so confused that he didn't even know what to do, and failed to inform the hostel of the creepy inhabitant.  At least he wasn't thrown into a meat bag, I told him.

We went through airport security and I thought this sign was hysterical.  Please do not bring your guns, poisons, acids, ninja stars, maces, and other Medieval torture devices with you on this flight.  Thank you for your cooperation!

We arrived in Riga and I quickly staked a place out to sleep for the night.  I had an overnight layover.  I am so glad I made a second trip over to the transfer kiosk, because it turns out that AirBaltic would set me up with a free meal and hotel room!!  I got a room all to myself...did you hear me?  A room.  All to my self.  For the first time in over a month, I did not have to fall asleep to the sounds of someone's snoring.  It was heavenly.  After a night in that hotel room, as Claudia would have said, "I feel like a new woman."

My hotel had wireless internet, a private bathroom, towels, lotion, shampoo, conditioner.  Everything a Motel 6 in the USA would have had, but for some reason, this stay made me incredibly happy.
Hotel Mini Bar

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