You know how people say it’s better to live life without regrets? Sure, that’s all great in theory but in practise it’s hard not regret somethings. I’d be lying to say that I didn’t have any regrets here in Riga. For example, those two Long Island Iced Teas from Shot cafe last night was probably a bad idea, even though it was fantastic value. These Long Island Iced Teas are like taking a magic pill which takes you from “0 to Fucked” in a matter of minutes.
Anyway, that’s not my biggest regret. My biggest regret is buckwheat. Or more specifically, that I only discovered buckwheat last weekend. I’m aware that that is probably not of those regrets that one would take to their grave but nevertheless it exists. (What, you really thought it was going to be something big?)
So why buckwheat? Buckwheat seems to be readily available in Latvian supermarkets and is not only cheaper than pasta or rice, it’s tastier and healthier. And it keeps you regular. It’s basically cooked in the same way as rice and easily substitutes it.
Even though I’ve tried to eat local cuisine while in Riga, I’ve admittedly not been very adventurous. I’ve had Traditional grey peas (called Pelēkie zirņi), which is served with smoked bacon and an onion cream sauce, lots of dumplings and a few dishes when I’ve visited Couchsurfers. However, as I have primarily cooked at home, I’ve stuck to only what I know, being pasta or rice. It never occurred to me that it would be interesting to cook with local ingredients. So it’s not so much buckwheat per se that I regret having missed out on, but the opportunity to cook using all the foreign ingredients at my disposal.
Anyway, it’s my last day in Riga and although I’ve only been here for roughly 7 weeks, I’ve developed a strong affinity to this city. To be fair, I came during my favourite season of the year – Summer. I imagine if I tried to survive a Latvian winter, I may not be as impressed. Anyway, I think Riga is a beautiful, walkable city with friendly people (at least for Europe) and an air of modesty which is endearing. Plus the happy hour offers here are excellent and it’s nice that clubs and bars have no fixed closing time.
Will I be back? I hope to one day. Realistically however, there’s so much in the world to explore that the prospect of recreating the same experience twice seems unimaginative. Sort of like Hangover 2, which I think is so bad that I’m afraid for what is wrong with the people who enjoyed it. (Unless they have a crush on Bradley Cooper, which of course would be the only acceptable excuse. After all, I liked Transformers 2 because Megan Fox was in it.)
Any travel regrets? And would you live in a place again if you liked it the first time or would you rather experience something new?