Jambo Gringo Slug

Letter to Latvia 2017

Dear Latvia,

Rundale Palace I am sorry for the delay in writing to you. Please do not be offended that I wrote to Lithuania first. I love you both equally.

Having said that, you might do well to think about some of the things I said to Lithuania too. In particular the bits about confusing speed limits. You are equally naughty in that respect. I suggest you read the letter to the Liths when you have a spare moment - let me know if you don't have a copy and I will send you one. At the very least you can have a little laugh behind your hand about them hanging things from bridges (which is rather silly, I'm sure you'll agree).

But there were some things which were special for you too, so don't get too smug. Need I mention the sand caves outside Kuldiga where you get to make a wish (or do anything else you like) in the dark. Really? My wish hasn't come true yet, Latvia, and I am beginning to think the magic might not be genuine.

But having said that you have some very beautiful things and some very dirty things. Rundale Palace is rather beautiful if confusingly laid out. Although maybe you should reconsider the name. At the moment it sounds like it's in Derbyshire.

And Riga is rather dirty. You should try rubbing your finger down the handrail on the Akmens bridge. Or perhaps just depute one of yourselves to do so - it might get busy if you all do. Whoever does it - I bet you get a black gritty streak in place of your fingerprint. Too many cars. I suggest you think about that. Maybe invest in electric ones.

And while you're at it, have another think about that national library. Perhaps try something else - a disused nuclear launch site for instance. You can always recycle the library building as an all weather ski-ramp.

A tram at CinevillaAnd I do want to mention Cinevilla while I'm writing. It is very interesting to have a village which was built entirely as a filmset and I'm sure its lovely and indeed a very big tourist attraction for all sorts of people who watched some rather dreary -looking soviet films. However, if you are not going to open it on Mondays can you let me know in future? I felt very lonely, although it was very nice of the Lat who let me in to have done so. Also, you could get a more friendly cat. The one moseying around didn't seem to want to play. Even though I was the only available person to play with.

Not that I was insulted or anything. I don't judge you on your cats.

Overall, I rather wish I had been able to stay longer. There is apparently some wild sea to look at. I can believe this - the bit of the Baltic I saw was indeed very baltic. Sea birds aren't really supposed to fly backwards.

Anyway. It was very kind of you to put me up for a bit and I enjoyed myself enormously. So I hope you take my suggestions on board and look forward to seeing you sometime in the future.

Yours sincerely

A friend

Jambo Gringo 2017

Ian Tucker 2017